Kevin Keegan has resigned as manager of Newcastle United FC just three games into the Premier League season.
The 57-year-old former England manager, previously in charge between 1992 and 1997, returned to the north-east club to popular acclaim in January following the sacking of Sam Allardyce and steered Newcastle, who had been languishing towards the bottom of the table, to a 12th-placed finish. Newcastle have gained four points from their opening three fixtures this term, including a 1-1 draw at Manchester United FC, but Keegan is believed to have been disappointed by Newcastle's summer transfer policy, notably the €12.5m departure of England Under-21 winger James Milner to Aston Villa FC.
Keegan said in a statement: "I've been working desperately hard to find a way forward with the directors, but sadly that has not proved possible. It's my opinion that a manager must have the right to manage and that clubs should not impose upon any manager any player that he does not want." A club statement read: "Newcastle United Football Club is sad and disappointed that Kevin Keegan has resigned. Over the last few days the club has devoted itself to the discussions it has held with Kevin and as a result of those discussions had put together a set of practical suggestions for how to move forward. Today the club made it clear to Kevin that if he had any outstanding concerns on its proposals, he should raise them with the club. The club regrets that Kevin has, instead of taking up that offer, chosen to resign."
Ex-Hamburger SV and Liverpool FC forward Keegan has been a hero as both player and manager at St James' Park. Towards the end of his playing days, he helped Newcastle earn promotion back to the English top flight in 1984. He repeated the feat as manager in 1993, heralding arguably Newcastle's best spell since their three FA Cup wins in the 1950s. His exciting side were pipped at the death to the league title by Manchester United FC in 1995/96. He stood down midway through the following campaign when the Magpies again finished second – their best league placings since their English championship triumph of 1927. Subsequently manager of Fulham FC, England and Manchester City FC, Keegan left that third role in 2005 and had been out of coaching until Newcastle's billionaire owner Mike Ashley came calling in January.
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