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Owen stands by Newcastle exit

Michael Owen has defended himself against claims he abandoned Newcastle following their relegation from the English Premier League in 2009.

After an injury-hit four years at St James’ Park, the striker went on to sign for Manchester United, where he often struggled for game time.

The 33-year-old joined Stoke City after leaving United last year, and has since announced he will retire at the end of the season after failing to make an impact at the Britannia Stadium.

The former Liverpool man has now denied claims he opted not to remain with Newcastle in the Championship, insisting the club did not offer him a new deal.

He tweeted: “Newcastle fans, following my Football Focus interview, plenty of you tweeting me saying you don’t blame me for getting injured but for leaving when we got relegated.

“Despite the club saying they did, they didn’t ever offer me a new contract despite them putting it in the press that they did. How could they when they had just been relegated? It would have been financial suicide.

“I’ve seen it a million times, a club will blatantly lie to their fans to take the moral high ground leaving the player with no leg to stand on.

“I’ve taken the stick for years which is fine but you really don’t know half of it. All will be revealed one day.”

Sun 24 March, 2013
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