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Newcastle would not give me enough time: Venables

SoccerNews in English Premier League 26 Sep 2008


Terry Venables has revealed that he turned down the role of interim manager at Newcastle because owner Mike Ashley would not guarantee him enough time to turn around the fortunes of the troubled club.

With Ashley hoping to sell the club, Venables was offered the chance to step in to the managerial hotseat vacated by Kevin Keegan earlier this month.

But it was made clear to the former England manager that any deal would involve the possibility he could be dismissed as soon as new owners took charge.

“The way the job was offered to me meant that I might be working at St James' Park for two months, two years – or two weeks,” Venables wrote in his column for The Sun newspaper. “There was far too much uncertainty involved.”

Venables added: “Newcastle United means too much to too many people to take the job on a short-term basis. It demands total commitment and dedication from a manager who is prepared to throw himself heart and soul into the club.

“I didn't want to move up to Tyneside and find myself surplus to requirements before I'd even had the chance to get my teeth into the challenge.”

The snub from Venables will add to the gloom engulfing one of the English Premier League's best-supported clubs and arguably make it much harder for caretaker manager Chris Hughton to lift a demoralised squad.

Newcastle, who entertain Blackburn at home on Saturday, have lost their last four matches, are second from bottom of the league and were knocked out of the League Cup in midweek by Tottenham in front of the lowest crowd seen at St James in 16 years.

Venables had been identified as the ideal candidate to turn things around in the short-term, largely on the strength of the role he played in helping Middlesbrough beat relegation in 2002.

“I was ready and willing to give it a real go but I was never offered the chance to do that,” Venables said.

“All they could guarantee was that I'd be in a job until Mike Ashley sells the club whenever that might be. As flattered and honoured as I was to be approached by Newcastle, in the end it wasn't that difficult a decision for me to decline their offer.

“The Newcastle supporters have suffered more than enough in recent years. I didn't want them to think I'd gone up there just to pocket a few quid from Mike Ashley and then wave “cheerio” a couple of weeks later.”

Ashley now faces the difficult task of finding someone willing to take on the job on the terms that Venables was not prepared to accept.

With mooted candidates including Glenn Hoddle and the Blackburn boss Paul Ince having ruled themselves out, former Leeds and Aston Villa boss David O'Leary is now reportedly under consideration.

Former Ireland defender O'Leary has been out of work since parting company with Aston Villa in 2006.


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