NEWCASTLE UNITED have been ordered to pay all of Kevin Keegan’s costs in his successful claim against the club for constructive dismissal – a sum which could reach £1.5m.
Keegan left the club in September last year after the club signed Uruguayan midfielder Ignacio Gonzalez against his wishes “to do a favour” for two South American agents.
An arbitration tribunal earlier this month found in Keegan’s favour and yesterday ordered Newcastle to pay costs and interest on the £2m compensation award dating back to September last year.
It is another victory for Keegan over Newcastle owner Mike Ashley who had claimed breach of contract against the former England manager.
The tribunal also said the club had made “entirely unfounded allegations” against Keegan and rejected Newcastle’s claims that they should not be liable for costs because they had offered to settle the case before the hearing.
A statement from the tribunal said: “We direct that the club should pay all of Mr Keegan’s costs.
“Moreover, we reject the club’s attempt to rely on the various offers which it made both prior to and during the hearing to settle the claim since none of them involved the club’s acceptance that he had been constructively dismissed and all of them involved a condition of secrecy or confidentiality.
“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 tribunal said if the parties cannot agree on costs, then they would decide the figure.
Meanwhile, Jonas Gutierrez insists Newcastle will have no excuses for not getting back to winning ways when Doncaster visit St James’ Park on Saturday.
Tuesday night’s defeat at Scunthorpe made it four games without a win for Chris Hughton’s side, and the Argentina international believes that run must end at the weekend.
“We’re supposed to be the team that came from the Premier League, and are top of the Championship.
“I think we did the right things (at Scunthorpe) and we had a lot of opportunities to score. But if you miss chances, you end up losing matches.
“It’s difficult to take, but in three days we have another match. This is a game we have to win. There can be no excuses.
That’s what we have to start thinking about straight away.”
And Gutierrez is calling on the fans to forget the recent dip in form, and give their wholehearted backing to the Magpies on Saturday.
“We haven’t won for four games, and Saturday is the perfect chance to repay our supporters.
“We must give them something back too. If we play like we did against Scunthorpe, we’ll win more than we lose,”