Ashley calls for patience as he works on Shearer's demands at Newcastle
29 May 2009 12:46
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is working through Alan Shearer's list of demands and is now hoping to clinch the deal which will secure him as the club's manager over the weekend.
Shearer was hoping to officially take over as manager by the end of the week but the billionaire sportswear magnate has told Shearer, his advisers, and supporters, to be patient as he works to draw up the fresh new policy to take the club forward under Shearer's command.
Shearer has confirmed to Ashley that he is willing to take the St James's Park hotseat if he can ensure a £15 million transfer budget and get guarantees over the running of the club as he looks to slash the £74 million wage bill.
The former club captain, who held extensive talks with Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias on Monday and Tuesday, has also told the pair the players he wants to keep and build a team around, and those he would be willing to sacrifice - at the right prices.
Central to his rebuilding plans are defenders Steven Taylor, Sebastien Bassong and Habib Beye, but they are also three of the few assets on Newcastle's books and they could attract summer interest from sides still in the Barclays Premier League.
Shearer has already put a £15 million price tag on Bassong, a £500,000 signing from Metz last summer whose fine progress has been monitored by Arsenal, Aston Villa and Everton and who is looking for a better deal to replace his £5,000-a-week wages.
Shearer and his assistant Iain Dowie were not at Newcastle's training ground on Thusrsday and they have left Ashley, Llambias, club secretary Lee Charnley and financial controller John Irving to work through his demands.
Neighbours Sunderland also remain confident they will be naming Steve Bruce as their new manager in the next few days as they look to negotiate a compensation with Wigan Athletic.
Bruce, who goes on holiday on Friday, has met Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn after he was given permission to talk to the Wearside club by Latics chairman Dave Whelan.
Whelan will have a package of his own to pay Swansea City for their manager Roberto Martinez who he wants to succeed Bruce and he is now looking for around £3 million compensation from Quinn and new Sunderland owner Ellis Short.
Former Birmingham boss Bruce, who wants to take his backroom team of assistant Eric Black, goalkeeping coach Nigel Spink and coach Keith Bertschin with him to the Stadium of Light, will be charged with making Sunderland a top ten side when he does take the job.
With Short promising further investment to build on the £90 million Roy Keane spent over more than two years, the American banker has vowed to end Sunderland's years of fighting for their lives in the Barclays Premier League.
Short was at the final two games against Portsmouth and Chelsea as Sunderland narrowly escaped the drop, and he was euphoric on Survival Sunday.
He said: `This club has a lot of reasons to stay up. We've got a lot of good plans for the future and relegation would have been horrible.
`We'll do what we need to do this summer to get this team into a place where we can try to finish in the top 10 next year.
`I don't ever want to go through a relegation battle again and I don't want the fans to have to go through it. I don't want Niall to have to go through it so what we will genuinely be trying to do with the things that Niall does this summer is to be able to finish in the top 10. In the longer term we just want to continue to improve and always run things well.
`This is a very big club with a lot of fans, a big stadium and a lot of revenue. When you are in a position where we are where and you are trying to improve, it takes money but if that money is wisely invested and the personnel decisions that you make are good ones then I am not worried at all.'