Players

It is par for the course at any club that there will be acrimony from players that will feel agreived about their contract, the ambition of the club, their desire to stay when a sale is being negotiated or their desire to depart when the club are refusing offers.

Usually the acrimony is resolved privately and professionally and all parties move on.  At Newcastle there have been pointed cases where the departure of very popular players with emotional ties to the club and city have not been the end of the matter and they have been so unhappy with how things were handled they felt the need to defend themselves against claims from the club that they forced a move.

Worse though, the club have been taken to employment tribunal and found to discriminate against a player who informed them of his cancer diagnosis.

August 2019
Ayoze Perez explains he left Newcastle because he felt they didn't want to grow or get better
"Things could be done better over there at Newcastle, but Leicester have given me the opportunity to do great things hopefully. There is big ambition.  I think how football works, the way you have to look at football, that is the difference between Leicester and Newcastle. There is big motivation here to keep growing and to get better here at Leicester. I didn't feel they had it at Newcastle.  That is why I signed here and made the decision. I am very happy to be part of the family." - Source
July 2019
After leaving, Salomon Rondon describes the ethos at Newcastle and why that ethos stems from someone who doesn't uinderstand football
“Maybe a few years ago, Newcastle would have given me a contract.  But it looks like the owner’s rule is that, ‘Because he’s 29, when I sell I don’t get more money from what I’ve invested in him".  I get that because, for the owner, it is a business.  But I showed to all of them that even though I am 29, I am still scoring goals, I still assist my team-mates, I am still working really hard, I still feel like a young guy.  I have had 12 years in Europe and no bad injuries, I try to eat properly and I am professional.  When you hear the comments about my age, those people don’t know about football.” - Source

October 2017
Shay Given in his autobiography
"Eventually, me and Michael Kennedy had a meeting with Mike Ashley about what the future held. It was at the manager’s office at the training ground and Llambias was there as well. I was willing to listen to what they had to say but ultimately I left it all up to Michael. This is what usually happens with contract and transfer issues, the player leaves it in the hands of someone they trust. I went out of the room soon after the meeting had begun and returned to the car. Michael was back out, sat in the passenger seat, soon after. “We’re not staying,” he said. “That was not a serious offer in any way, shape or form.” Mike Ashley had told Michael the deal being proposed but it was considerably lower than what we were offering new players at the time, who were coming in on huge long-term contracts that would secure them for life.
My deal did not do that and just confirmed what I already suspected – they weren’t going to pull out the stops to keep me at the club. I was prepared to stay for the rest of my career but, ultimately, I was in my prime, a potential Premier League winning team wanted to sign me and Newcastle did not give any impression they wanted to chase silverware. The sad thing was I’d placed serious, long-term roots down in Newcastle, my children were in school there and I would easily and happily have stayed forever.
How much did they really want to keep me though? How much did they want to be challenging? Did the boardroom care about keeping their most loyal players? In a word, no.
In the end, with me unhappy at what was going on and the lack of ambition shown by the club, a gun was put to my head. They said they would not allow me to leave unless I signed a transfer request. By making me hand in a formal written request, it meant they could waive 10 per cent of the fee I otherwise would’ve picked up after moving. With the fee being around £6-8m, it effectively meant I was waiving £600,000 to go.
It says everything that they were more keen on saving themselves £600,000 than they were keeping hold of a player who had given his absolute all for the club for over a decade. I’d literally spilt blood for Newcastle, pushed myself hard every day, even when times were so tough and quality players were leaving by the second.
The least the club could’ve done, in my opinion, is prove I was wanted. Instead, they were more interested in the transfer fee than they were me – a proven Premier League player, a dedicated team-man and a good professional. If they were letting me go, and they were more than happy to let the likes of Milner go as well, what does that tell you? It tells me that the economics of the club were a bigger priority than success on the pitch. That saddened me a lot then and it saddens me a lot now.
It all then happened very quickly. I didn’t have chance to say goodbye to the lads, say goodbye to the staff at the training ground or even clear out my stuff. Fair enough, that’s life. I just wanted to get out and get playing again and move to a club that was going places. It was a fresh start and a chance to go again. I could’ve signed the deal offered and lived on Easy Street but I knew we wouldn’t have been challenging for anything anytime soon. In the end, it came down to the January 2009 deadline day. They had to get it done quickly to hit the Europa League cut-off. What really pi….. me off – and one of the reasons I’m doing this book – is the way the club treated me after I ‘demanded a move.’ The club was leaking stuff against me, left right and centre, telling the media: ‘We couldn’t keep him, unfortunately, because he forced us into the deal with his transfer request’ when, actually, it was the club that made me sign it in the first place.
They made it sound like I was holding them to ransom and that poor little Newcastle were being stitched up by just another greedy footballer when, in actual fact, I wanted to stay – but only if Newcastle gave me a competitive contract and, by doing so, proved the club had big plans for the future.
The way the club portrayed me was a disgrace and the money it cost me wasn’t – and isn’t – the issue; the issue was I’d given nearly 12 years of my life to that football club, given everything.
They’d quadrupled what they paid for me and when it came down to it, they couldn’t care less about me, the future of the club or the direction it was going in. To then read in the papers that I was effectively the one ‘desperate to go’ made me so mad.
In one press conference, Joe Kinnear said, “We bent over backwards to try and keep him at Newcastle United and offered him a longer contract to stay at the club. He has been with Newcastle United for a long time and has been a great servant but he felt the time was right to move on and so, realistically, we had no choice but to reluctantly agree to allow him to make this move.”
Hang on a minute…
Not only did the club play bulls… politics behind my back, claiming it was all me, after I’d gone, they were no better. All it would’ve taken was for them to say, ‘We place on record our thanks to Shay Given for his service to this football club.’
One sentence would’ve done me but no, I got nothing. I was hurting at the time and, to be honest, I’m still mad because it could’ve been dealt with a million times better. Not 10 times better, a million. As a player and as an individual I deserved so much more than that. I didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to the fans and the club hung me out to dry in the media. The odd time I’ve been out in Newcastle since I left, I’ve had a few negative comments about me leaving and it kind of angers you, you know? Maybe this chapter will set the record straight and help dispel a few of those myths about why I left; at least they will get my angle to the story.
The club gave me everything but I gave the club everything back in return and, thankfully, it will be around a lot longer than Mike Ashley will. - Source 

April 2016
The BBC report on Jonas Gutierrez winning his case of disability discrimination against Newcastle United
Midfielder Jonas Gutierrez was dropped by Newcastle United because of his cancer diagnosis, an employment tribunal has found. The 32-year-old was suing the Magpies for about £2m on the grounds of disability discrimination. The tribunal also ruled the club made it impossible for Gutierrez to trigger an appearance-based contract extension.
Gutierrez, who joined Newcastle from Real Mallorca in 2008, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 2013. He had been a regular at St James' Park before that time, scoring 10 goals in 177 appearances at the time of the return of the illness and subsequent treatment. The Argentina international sued Newcastle over the way he was treated following his diagnosis and claimed the Premier League club saw him as a liability after he returned from treatment.
Gutierrez, now playing for Deportivo La Coruna in Spain, also alleged that he was not selected for some of the second half of the 2014-15 season, when the Magpies avoided relegation on the final day of the campaign, so the club would not trigger an automatic one-year contract extension.
The tribunal found that Gutierrez was discriminated against following his diagnosis and subsequent return to fitness as it deemed he was considered part of the club's plans right up to the point of his absence.
The ruling stated: Gutierrez "had maintained his place in the starting line-up without difficulty for five years.  Just over two weeks after the claimant returned to the club in November 2013 following his diagnosis and treatment, and at a point when he was match fit and returning to action he was told that he no longer featured in the club's future plans.
"We conclude that the decision to drop the claimant was because of the claimant's cancer."
The tribunal also concluded that Gutierrez was not considered for selection following his return to fitness until he could not achieve the 80 Premier League starts required over the length of his four-year contract to trigger the extension. As a result of his absence because of cancer, Gutierrez had only 121 games instead of 152 to earn his extended deal and the club had discriminated against him by failing to make reasonable adjustments.
The ruling stated: "It was in essence more difficult for the claimant to achieve the required number of games because in the periods of time that he was not absent for treatment or rehabilitation he had to be more frequently selected as a proportion of the total number of games available than his non disabled counterparts. We conclude that this was a substantial (more than minor or trivial) disadvantage." "Had the possibility of a triggering of the clause not been an issue then Mr Charnley [Newcastle managing director Lee] would not have needed to discuss it at all with Mr Carver [former manager John] and would not have needed to double check how close the claimant was to triggering the clause."
Gutierrez was found to be a "credible and convincing witness".
Former Newcastle boss Alan Pardew "was able to deliver his evidence in a confident, convincing and articulate way". However, "the detail of what was said was not necessarily as credible as the manner in which the evidence was delivered".
Some of Pardew's evidence was deemed to be contradictory and "inconsistent". 
Managing director Charnley's evidence was described as "evasive and lacking in credibility".
Parts of former Newcastle boss John Carver's evidence were "vague" and were "rejected".
In August 2013, Newcastle's doctor club advised that Gutierrez, who was recovering from a hamstring injury, should be picked as a substitute "at the very most". Pardew had picked Gutierrez to play and told the hearing that he "did not understand" the doctor's advice, a claim the tribunal considered "improbable". Pardew was dismissive of the doctor's notes in Gutierrez's medical record, which read: "Somehow managed to start game against Manchester City. Manager's decision, against medical advice."
Charnley would not accept that Gutierrez was an established international player, despite winning 22 caps and playing at the 2010 World Cup for Argentina. Charnley "could not say" how many international players Newcastle had in their squad in September 2011.
Charnley said that Gutierrez's 71 starts in 76 games in 2011-12 and 2012-13 only "demonstrated someone who plays for the first team" and not consistent performance. Carver told the tribunal that Gutierrez "had a certain clause in his contract if he reached a certain criteria". He later said there was no discussion about the clause and denied knowing what the "certain criteria" might be. - Source
February 2011
Andy Carroll responds to the club publicising a transfer request by stating it was against his wishes.
'I'm gutted to be leaving my home town club, i was told to go. I didn't want to leave that's why I signed a 5 year deal. I was pushed out of the door.' - Source

January 2011
NUFC statement claims Andy Carroll has submitted a transfer request and they have accepted it
A transfer request from striker Andy Carroll has been accepted by Newcastle United.The 22-year-old England international has this afternoon handed in a transfer request, which has reluctantly been accepted by the club, and Carroll is currently in talks with Liverpool over a move to Anfield. - Source


Alan Pardew reiterates again that Carroll will stay
"It was good that Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias made that commitment that Andy is not for sale. I'm pleased about that. We won't be selling any player that we don't feel needs to be moved on." - Source

December 2010
Alan Pardew reiterates the importance of Carroll staying
"Andy's career path is here, he just has to keep working hard. We have to have a big-club mentality and hold on to our best players." - Source
Alan Pardew on Andy Carroll the day he was unveiled as Newcastle Manager
"Andy Carroll was at the top of my list of questions because he needs to stay, this club has been crying out for another number nine and he looks like he's fitting the bill, so I made it very clear that he needs to stay." - Source


October 2010

Derek Llambias on Andy Carroll the day he signed a 5 year contract with the club


"Players like Andy are the future of this club" - Source

February 2009

In conversation with NUSC, Derek Llambias on Shay Given asking to leave
“We never wanted to lose Shay, we made that clear from January, whatever the price they offered. They came in with £3M and we politely told them to go away. Somehow Shay got it into his head that he wanted to move on because he wanted to win trophies. City then came in with a £5M bid that we rejected but then ...when a player decides they want to go it’s very, very difficult. We offered Shay a new contract that would take him to the age of 39 but that wasn’t good enough. Maybe we could have matched the contract with City, which we just couldn’t afford”.

“Once they came in with a £5M bid we then looked at their team. We tried for their right back, Michael Johnson, Elano on loan to get the deal that suited NUFC. Unfortunately it was difficult. We got £5.9M plus add-ons, not paid until 1st of July. We asked Man city for £15M thinking they would just go away but they got away cheaply, was it good business on our part? Not really ‘cos we never wanted to lose the player cheaply” - Source
Joe Kinnear on Shay Given's desire to leave
"I'm really sorry to see Shay go. He's been a fantastic professional and a great lad to work with. We bent over backwards to try and keep him at Newcastle United and offered him a longer contract to stay at the club. He's been with Newcastle United for a long time and has been a great servant but he felt the time was right to move on and, so realistically, we had no choice but to reluctantly agree to allow him to make this move. I wish him and his family all the very best for the future." - Source

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