The power shifts on Tyneside as Wise is forced out

Alan Shearer flexed his muscles for the first time as interim manager of Newcastle United last night and Dennis Wise was the immediate casualty.

Wise, Newcastle's director of football and perceived as the man who helped push Kevin Keegan out of St James' Park last September, was removed from his post and in a short statement from the club, Newcastle added that "there are no plans to appoint a replacement in this role".

That will be seen as a second victory for Shearer, who was officially confirmed in his temporary post in a statement released after Wise's departure. Shearer has already demonstrated that he possesses the sort of power within St James' Park that Keegan was unable to wield.

That gives Shearer the potential to shape things at the club, but his ability to do that may be compromised by the dire economic situation. The 38-year-old is expected to stress today that his agreement with Newcastle to take control of the first team for the eight remaining matches of the season has no provision beyond that.

While there was understandable enthusiasm on Tyneside for Shearer's involvement, his time in charge could be 53 days long, because if he helps Newcastle avoid relegation but receives no assurances about future finances for team-building, he is unlikely to want to stay at a club without significant resources, even his hometown club.

Newcastle also confirmed last night that Shearer will have the former Crystal Palace and Charlton manager Iain Dowie as his coach and the former Newcastle player and physio, now a barrister, Paul Ferris, as his other assistant.

Both Dowie and Ferris are scheduled, along with Shearer, to meet the players and staff today. Shearer is to be unveiled this afternoon. Coaches Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood are expected to stay until the end of the season. But the Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's support of the removal of Wise is hugely significant for Shearer. It is said Wise was only told of the Shearer development while at a game on Tuesday night.

There may be implications for Joe Kinnear as well. The 62-year-old is likely to have been as shocked as anyone that Ashley made contact independently some time over the weekend. And there may also be an impact on Michael Owen's state of mind. Newcastle's striker is said to have been energised by Shearer's arrival and may be already thinking about a new contract.

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