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Shearer “not sacked” as Newcastle ambassador

SoccerNews in English Premier League 15 Sep 2008

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Crisis club Newcastle United on Monday insisted former striker Alan Shearer had not been sacked as a club ambassador but that his role had ended last season.

British media had reported Sunday night that former England star Shearer had been stripped of his right to call himself 'club ambassador' after criticising the events which led Kevin Keegan to quit as coach earlier this month amid claims the latter had been undermined by the club not putting him in charge of transfers.

In a statement United said: “Alan Shearer had a contract for ambassadorial duties which ran out at the end of last season.

“As a gesture of goodwill from the club, Alan was given a complimentary corporate box back in June for use at St James' Park and the club continues to have an excellent relationship with its all-time greatest goalscorer.

“Any suggestion that Alan was stripped of this role because of recent events is completely inaccurate.”

Monday's statement came a day after owner Mike Ashley announced he was putting the club up for sale after mass fan protests against him and executive director of football Dennis Wise at the weekend prior to and during the woeful home English Premiership loss to newcomers Hull.

Many United fans want Ashley out and Wise to follow him through the door.

On Sunday, former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd told Ashley to “stop being a cry-baby” after the billionaire announced his plans to sell just a year after purchasing the under-achieving outfit.

Shepherd said Ashley, before he left St James' Park, should bring back fans' favourite and former player Keegan for a third spell as manager.

Newcastle last won a major trophy in 1969, when they lifted the old Fairs Cup, now the UEFA Cup.

Ashley, who made a fortune building up the Sports Direct retail chain, bought a majority stake in Newcastle for 134.4 million pounds (210 million dollars) just over 15 months ago.

He has generally sat with the fans at matcxhed clad in the club's black and white shirt but missed the Hull game saying he feared he and his family risked being assaulted if they turned up.

Ashley says fans want him to spend unrealistic sums of money in a bid to help Newcastle keep pace with cash kings Chelsea and Manchester City.

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