Wage demands put Alan Shearer's Newcastle appointment in doubt
It is believed that Shearer was close to agreeing a four-year deal to take over at St James' Park last week but unless he lowers his wage demands the club will look to an experienced manager to guide them out of the Championship next season. Mike Ashley, the owner, values Shearer's popularity with the supporters but does not want to give a lucrative contract to an inexperienced manager, lacking in coaching qualifications, who failed to keep the club in the Premier League. According to insiders Shearer also wants to gain control of transfer decisions and has apparently demanded that chairman Derek Llambias take a less high profile role in the running of the club. Related Articles'Shearer perfect for Newcastle'Newcastle ins and outsAshley says sorry as he chases ShearerSport on televisionAlan Shearer to be offered four-year Newcastle dealAlan Shearer at Newcastle for eight games onlyIn his eight games in charge as interim manager, Shearer's side won one game, drew two and only scored four goals. But Shearer enjoyed being in charge and can count on the loyalty of the supporters who revered him as a player. That could confer a commercial benefit at the turnstiles, but balanced against that are Ashley's concerns that he might find it difficult to sell the club should Shearer and his management team sign lucrative contracts with control over transfer policy. Newcastle need over the summer to cut dramatically their wage bill, which, according to the most recent figures, stands at £74 million. The squad is riddled with 'toxic assets', players on long contracts at wages in excess of £50,000 a week. Finding buyers willing to take on the wages of Damien Duff, Geremi and Alan Smith will prove exceedingly difficult in the financial climate. With Michael Owen and Mark Viduka having finished their contracts and Obafemi Martins certain to leave, Shearer is already planning to recruit goalscorers for next season, with Leeds United's Jermaine Beckford a priority. Beckford is available for £2 million after contract talks with Leeds broke down. However, Shearer must negotiate his own terms before he can even begin overhauling the squad.
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