Owen delays decision on his future until summer

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Michael Owen plunged Newcastle United into further chaos yesterday when he gave the clearest signal yet that he will be leaving the club in the summer. Owen announced he would not sign a new contract this season and will wait until July to make his decision, by which time he will be a free agent.

Owen went public with his intentions just days after the interim manager Joe Kinnear had claimed the player would make a definitive decision over his future this week. Instead of signing the £90,000-a-week contract offered this week, Owen seems destined to walk out the club that signed him for £17.5m in 2005 for nothing. Having achieved the lucrative status of a free agent, it is inconceivable the player would decide to re-sign.

Nevertheless, Owen, who released the statement via his management company WMG, attempted to sugarcoat his decision by pledging to Newcastle supporters that he would not leave in January. "My decision is not about money," he said. "I told the club some months ago that I would accept a reduction in my wages." He added that he hoped it would be seen as "a positive step" and "not seen as being disloyal".

Given the usual secretiveness surrounding Owen and WMG, it is surprising that he has decided to declare his hand so openly, with the club's supporters unlikely to be impressed. The Newcastle fans are not quite so likely to see this as an act of loyalty. There is only one person who will benefit from Owen delaying his decision and that is Owen himself.

He could give no promises as to his future beyond the summer. "Following speculation about my future at Newcastle United, I have decided to make it clear that I am committed to the club until at least the end of this season, and I have informed them I do not want to make a decision about my future until that time.

"I have no intention of leaving Newcastle during the January transfer window and want to assure the fans that, under Joe Kinnear's passionate management, I am committed with the rest of the players to ensure that the club ends the season on a high."

Owen has made just 52 starts for Newcastle since joining from Real Madrid in 2005, a statistic indicative of his injury problems. It also demonstrates why many Newcastle fans feel that the player owes the club something. However, with Nicky Butt, Steve Harper, Mark Viduka and Shola Ameobi all coming to the end of their contracts this season, and their futures unresolved, these are uncertain times for Newcastle.

Kinnear said last night: "Michael told me in person about his decision and I fully understand where he is coming from. We have a great relationship as captain and manager and that will certainly continue. He is focused on scoring goals for Newcastle and helping us keep progressing this season. Michael will consider his options in the summer, but I am still optimistic he will stay with us."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas