Shearer describes Newcastle system as 'dangerous'

Alan Shearer was never going to succeed Kevin Keegan under the current regime at Newcastle United and the former Newcastle captain made sure of that last night with strong criticism of the structure of management introduced by the club's owner, Mike Ashley. Shearer described the director of football position as "dangerous", a description that will not have pleased Dennis Wise.

"A manager lives and dies by the players he can bring in and players that he sells," said Shearer. "If a manager can't do that, then is there any point in him being there? We have seen Kevin saying one day that he doesn't want to sell James Milner, then three or four days later James Milner is gone, albeit for a lot of money, £12m.

"But then Kevin also said judge me on Monday night, and he'd have thought, well, players are going to be coming in, probably big-name players and obviously that didn't happen. The two players who did come in were relatively unknown, Xisco being a promising player.

"I think that has brought it to a head. He has thought, can I live with this any more? Am I managing this football club? I think it is a dangerous trend when you go into a football club when a director of football is appointed, not by yourself – ie, not by the manager.

"I think the inevitable will happen and there will be a breakdown in communications. There can only be one person in a football club who is making decisions over players, ie buying them, selling them. You go and identify the player you want, and the chairman or chief exec goes and gets that player. If you want to sell a player, the same should happen. I think it is dangerous when a director of football is appointed."

Richard Bevan, the chief executive of the League Managers' Association, voiced a similar view. "Having a director of football working on player transfers can only work when a manager has the final say on everything," he said. "At Newcastle there were three or four conductors of the orchestra."

Shearer's opinion will have been met with rousing cheers by Newcastle supporters and grimaces from Ashley and his circle at the top of St James' Park. Ashley's supposed discomfort only increases the belief that he is now receptive to offers for the club. It is understood Ashley recently rejected one offer for an outright buy-out, preferring as he has stated publicly to seek "partners", but his attitude towards a total sale may have changed in the drama over Keegan. From the City of London yesterday came the opinion that the club is being primed for a 100 per cent sale.

The potential difficulty in Ashley's partner model – similar to the one at Queen's Park Rangers – is that partners would need to be able to trust each other on major and minor issues. New investors without any relationship to Newcastle or Ashley could find that offputting.

When he bought the club last year Ashley paid £134m but, having failed to perform due diligence, he then discovered there was around £100m worth of debt run up by the overspending regime of Freddy Shepherd. Ashley himself has described his outlay on Newcastle as "£250m".

In the meantime the search for a new manager is on. Wise's Chelsea connection has led to Gustavo Poyet and Gianfranco Zola being mentioned, and Didier Deschamps. It is known Ashley praised David Moyes' work on a budget at Everton last season.

Newcastle fans were unsettled further with a report last night that Ashley spent Wednesday night drinking with a large group of friends at a club in New York – his bar bill allegedly topped £125,00 – while Keegan fretted over his future at St James' Park.

world cup 2014A history of the third-place play-offs
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
Review: Wembley Stadium ***
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
Life and Style
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice