26 Mar 2013

Don't blame me: Angry LFC hero slams 'blatant lies' over new contract offer

Last week, Liverpool legend Dietmar Hamann revealed that Michael Owen was 'desperate' to return to Anfield after his year with Real Madrid, and outlined how Newcastle stepped in and offered 'twice as much' as the Reds, which mean the striker ended up at St. James' Park instead. Owen's time in the North-east ultimately went sour, and in an interview over the weekend, the former Reds attacker accused Newcastle of lying about his exit from the club.

Newcastle fans have deep-seated resentment towards Owen for leaving when the club got relegated, but speaking to The Telegraph, Owen blasted Newcastle for 'blatantly lying', and trying to take the 'moral high ground' over his exit. He raged:

"Newcastle fans blame me for leaving when we got relegated, but the club didn't ever offer me a new contract despite them putting it in the press that they did.

"How could they when they had just been relegated? It would have been financial suicide. I've seen it a million times, a club will blatantly lie to their fans to take the moral high ground.

Owen also revealed that he held some regrets over choosing Liverpool over Manchester United. When asked if he choosing United would've benefited his career, he said:

Newcastle may have offered more for Owen, but if he really wanted a return to Liverpool, surely he could've dug his heels in and refused to go anywhere but Anfield?

"If you want an honest answer, then it is probably a yes. I had the choice to join Manchester United when I was a kid but I chose Liverpool. Yes, I could be playing a bit longer, might have had a few more medals in a pocket but who knows?"

Owen was quick to clarify though that he would 'not swap my time at Liverpool as they were my best years'.

How time flies. I vividly remember all the excitement building about Owen in the 1996-7 season, and it's very similar to what we're seeing today with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Suso. I remember watching his first senior goal against Wimbledon, and his goalscoring genius over the 5+ seasons after that is still seared in the memory.

It's not really something you think about when you're younger, but there's something strange about witnessing the beginning and end of a footballer's career. I guess it just reminds people of my generation (mid-30s) that we're getting older (!)

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  1. owen seems to be blaming everyone for his carear going down the toilet lfc ,newcastle the dog ect,except the people who are most to blame himself and his greedy agent thanks for the memories owen now jog on ,you could have been an anfield legend you only have yourself to blame,

  2. Blimey.
    I agree 100%.
    Must be a first!

  3. People can say all they want about Owen but no one can deny the ability that he had. I'm a bit younger than most of you lot on here, growing up Owen was my favourite player. He made goal scoring look easy...Although I hate how money has ruined football, I'm not going to blame people in todays world if they sign for it, it's the sad reality.

    Anyway, why Rafa supposedly chose David N'nobody (ngog) over Owen I will never know...

  4. I liked the part where he was saying he was almost too quick for his own body... Lol.

  5. Sterling and Suso pale into comparison the impact Owen had on the first team. The fans demanded he played he was that good. Its a shame injuries and a few odd decisions shaped the rest of his career. I have no doubt he would have easily broken the England scoring charts. What Liverpool or England could do for a player like Owen in his pomp. Maybe this is why he sounds bitter. He should have finished his career on a high.

  6. Owen has himself to blame, he could have stayed, he could have forced RM's hand to choose LFC instead of Newcastle. He didn't, to be honest I don't really cared. Never really got back to his goal scoring heights after he left LFC

  7. Owen WAS an Anfield legend.

    And first of all, when Owen refused the contract at Newcastle in December 2008, the Toon were in 12th place in the league looking at 8th, so to say he refused the contract because Newcastle were going down is obviously inaccurate.

    Today (not 2005 when Newcastle took Owen) more than 95% of the population of the UK earn less than 68,500 pounds a year.

    68,500 pounds A WEEK was Owen's pay rise for choosing Newcastle over Liverpool when he came back from Real.

    It's all very well us fans moaning about lack of loyalty and a mercenary attitude but then we never had to sit down and weigh up the pros and cons of earning an extra 270 thousand pounds a month.

    He could have dug his heels in with Liverpool and got another 5 or 10 %. But not double. That's not how it works

    All this shows us is how far out of touch Fat Freddie Sheperd and his minions at Newcastle were, and why Ashley taking over was a godsend, saving them from financial collapse.

    To put it all in perspective, Owen's increase could have bought him a decent house a month extra, paid off with no mortgage!

    Or how about a Porsche 911 Carerra A WEEK!!!!!

    I was with the same company for 20 years then someone else came along and offered me 60% more than I was getting to go join their company.

    OK - it doesn't get me a Porsche but does "Rat up an Aquaduct" ring a bell?.

    I work in the Air Travel Industry and at no time did I even consider sticking with the lower wage out of loyalty to the passengers, "because they pay my wages". After all - the company I was going to had passengers, so what about them?

    Your average footballer has a 10 - 15 year career where they earn as much as possible to support their families for the rest of their lives. Some players careers are tragically cut short, while others get stuffed and become studio pundits. 99.99% of them have to make as much money as quickly possible.
    At just 33 years old Owen's career as a professional is over.
    To bemoan the fact that he took this choice or that, simply because it was in his best interest, rather than ours, is ludicrous.
    There again - we are fans. We are not known for being logical.

  8. Owen is not remembered fondly by Liverpool because he mislead us by saying he would sign a new contract only to run it down thereby reducing his transfer value and increasing his wages. The fans antipathy toward him was entrenched by our champions league triumph and its contrast with his subsequent lucrative bit part roles at Madrid, Newcastle and man utd. Owen chose money over loyalty and glory. As a result he is viewed as a tepid, cynical individual, lacking in emotional connection or charisma. Now his career is over I'm sure he would exchange all of his perfunctory understudy trinkets for utd and Madrid for the immortality that Istanbul would have bestowed.

  9. Agree, Pete. Owen was an amazing goalscorer, and people seem to forget that he won the Ballon d'Or in 2001 - how many British players ever achieve that? Gerrard Hasn't won it, neither has any other Premier League player.

  10. he deserved it

  11. I'm pathologically incapable of agreeing with JC, so I disagree on principle.

  12. sorry to hear that i hope its not terminal is it a disease or is it mental or are you just morbid;-)

  13. Chritiano Ronaldo won it when playing for united.

  14. Yeah, you're right. My bad. No Brit player has won it though.

  15. Yeah I agree. Here's to hoping that Sterling and Suso have that sort of impact, though only time will tell.

  16. I was a massive fan of Owen during his time at Liverpool and his 2001 FA cup final performance was one of my greatest footballing memories, but even then my view was that Michael Owen with pace was a world class player but micheal owen without pace was reduced to the status of expert goal poacher with a fairly average first touch and limited physical presence. That type of player can only really be effective when the defensive shape of the opposition is stretched which is why for the last few years he has been almost exclusively used as a substitute towards the end of games.

  17. This has to be one of the best comments I've read. I like comments with common sense. Football players are people, I think a lot of us forget that. We have an emotional connection with the club hence we also can get "attached to the players" that play for the club. Hence once they leave or want to leave we feel "hurt".

    When in reality we should not, but as a fan I know the feeling of "betrayal" when one of our beloved players leave. Especially for a "rival". However, regardless on who leaves I never dwell on it much because it's pointless.

    Money players earn in football and sports in general is both unethical and wrong IMO.

    I do realize they have a short career etc... But most players playing for their Premier League and 1division earn more than enough to survive. Players live in a bubble and seems like they completely oblivious to the real life.

    However compared to Baseball, NFL and Baseball football does not even come close in the amount of money they earn.

    All in all, I don't begrudge Owen for doing what he has done.

    Let's not forget our captain fantastic, Mr Liverpool Steven Gerrard tried to leave twice.

  18. Never St Michael's fault is it. The problem is people neither like or dislike him. They just don't feel anything for him. And that is difficult considering he always did what was best for him and never once for the club he played for. However, I can't deny he was a brilliant goal scorer - absolutely deadly. When you see the mess expensive modern forwards make of their gaol front chances you really appreciate what Michael had and I will never forget the England goal.

  19. Top post. We, the fans, get a little too preciously tribal and it colors our view in a certain way. Only thing I didn't like about him was signing for Man United but can understand why he did, at the time, as his stock was so low. I watched the interview and saw/understood the context of why he was probably better off at Man United earlier in his career, as I don't think the club, LFC, didn't get the balance right between looking after his fitness in the long run versus getting him playing asap. His hamstring problems ruined his game and it started from us overplaying him. Giggs had big hamstring problems but with the right fitness regime as well as changing his game, he has prolonged his career to a very good level still. Never had the game to get by without acceleration at the top level but to Owen's credit, he has carved out a decent CV to say the least. I don't dislike him, let alone hate him but I don't have great level of affection of him.

    I remember the story of how Luque got his high wages at Newcastle and that alone is enough to know what a bunch of cowboys were running that club at the time. Newcastle fans like to put it all on Owen but there is some weight behind Owen's counter argument above, as Shepherd was a joke.

  20. i thought you were going to ignore my infantile posts from now on lol see you got a few likes again using my name remember your nothing without me;-)

  21. whats ironic about players like owen they moan about being played to young...but threaten to walk out if there not played...ME ME ME ME ME all for himself and his wallet thats fine...but dont expect anyone to give a toss about you

  22. Yet more absolute drivel from you kanwar... Owen is not a "lfc hero" and again your headline is completely misleading. Why do you keep doing this?

  23. totally agree, and he wouldnt have been so good without the exposure at young age. If he didnt play as much then he wouldnt have been as good, and would not have gone to the world cup in 1998. thats his top england moment gone.

  24. Thanks for the service Michael. Never will be a legend in any of his clubs he played for. Sad.

  25. Probably because he was cheaper both wages and transfer fee