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."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam