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Newcastle owner nets roulette gain

SoccerNews in English Premier League 4 May 2008


Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan's hopes of a summer transfer treasure chest may have risen after the club's billionaire owner Mike Ashley won a windfall on the roulette wheel, the Mail on Sunday reported.

According to the British weekly, sports goods retailer Ashley won 1.3million pounds (2.5 million dollars) on a single spin of the wheel after a complex complete bet on black 17, the number favoured by James Bond.

Ashley reportedly placed the bet at a luxurious casino in St James Street, in the London high-rollers' haunt of Mayfair.

According to the Mail, Keegan, who replaced the sacked Sam Allardyce in January and has since lifted an under-performing side into midtable, believes even cash may not be enough for a title bid next season, however.

United, who will bid to prevent title contenders Chelsea going level with Manchester United on Monday, were runners up under Keegan 12 years ago and also came close to glory under Sir Bobby Robson.

But Keegan says the club are a long way from returning to that level.

“Newcastle fans are realistic. We are a long, long, long way from that.

“It doesn't give me pleasure to say it, but I say that because it is a fact. You can look at it and admire it, but you know it's not going to be there for us next season.

He continued: “Of course you can dream, but the reality check says that we are not going to be competing” with the big four.

On the Chelsea encounter Keegan added: “If we beat them, we can then maybe start to think that this squad is so much better than the league position suggests.”


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