Kevin Keegan has won a second victory over Mike Ashley after the controversial Newcastle owner was ordered to pay all the former manager's legal costs from his compensation case.
Ashley, who is now on the verge of appointing Chris Hughton as permanent manager and staying on at the club, has been slammed by a Premier League tribunal for making 'entirely unfounded allegations' against Keegan.
Keegan won a case of constructive dismissal at a Premier League hearing, clinching £2million in damages. But it appeared at the time that the former England manager would have to pay substantial legal costs, which would have wiped out most of his compensation award.
However Ashley, who counter-claimed for breach of contract, has now been ordered to pay Keegan's costs, which are believed to amount to £1.5m.
The ruling from the Premier League tribunal, reached after both parties put forward written submissions, said: 'We direct that the club should pay Mr Keegan's costs on an indemnity basis given the manner in which it conducted this litigation: its defence on the primary liability issue was, in our view, wholly without merit and it chose to make entirely unfounded allegations against Mr Keegan.'
The decision also awarded Keegan interest on his damages dating back to his sacking in September last year.