Owen still getting a hard time

MIKEY, Mikey Mikey, they aren’t going to leave you alone, are they?

MIKEY, Mikey Mikey, they aren’t going to leave you alone, are they?

Let me say at the outset that I’m not a professional northerner who believes everything up here is perfect, and everything ‘dine sythe’ is rotten.

Indeed, my favourite ever view is the twin hills of Jordan. But this obsession of southern journalists, to create a wedge between Owen and Newcastle is almost comical.

The report that he was booed on against Everton, for instance, conveniently didn’t mention that it was Everton supporters doing the booing. They were appalled when Owen left Madrid and didn’t sign for one of the golden quadrangle of Man USA, Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelski, but instead for a team on the edge of the Arctic Circle.

We aren’t deluding ourselves oop here that Michael signed because of our prospects, or our scintillating football – we were the only game in town.

In the circumstances, I don’t blame him for inserting more escape clauses than McCartney’s marriage certificate; it was our then-chairman who let him get away with it.

Then, to add fuel to the fire, a southern-based billionaire bought us out, the Daily Express went into meltdown. They had Ashley selling us off to a virtual United Nations of foreign investors, from China to Iceland and eventually back to David Sullivan at Birmingham City.

If we’d then gone and hired Mourinho, I think they’d probably have exploded.

I’m glad Owen plays for us, and he’s said through his official spokesman, Shearer, that he’s happy to be here.

We need to offer him a new deal. This will determine how committed he is to our cause, and will also have the happy side effect of seeing the Daily Express disappear up its own backside. As a final thought, since when has it become the remit of a newspaper to actively encourage the transfer of a player?

Despite Chairman Mort’s statement that there are no more get-out clauses, papers like The Sun are still trying to get him flogged off.

We’re not apologising for intruding on the London / North-West tabloid love-fest, and we aren’t that stupid that we need these chip wrappers to fight our corner if we have an issue with one of our players.

Why don’t they all go and play with the Portuguese police?



David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer