ALAN SHEARER has delivered a stinging response to old friend Michael Owen after the latter reignited a bitter feud between the two former Newcastle United and England team-mates in a new book.

The pair have not spoken to each other since the end of the 2008-09 season when the Magpies ended up being relegated from the Premier League.

Shearer had been appointed as the club’s interim manager to try to stave off the threat of relegation and Owen, the club’s record buy and £120,000-a-week footballer, was part of the Newcastle squad.

And the old pals ended up avoiding each other after bad feeling spilled over towards the end of that ill-fated campaign when Owen claimed he was not fully fit ahead of the final game with Aston Villa; a match that ended in a 1-0 defeat that condemned the club to the Championship.

Owen was the club’s best-paid player, and no player has been paid that amount since, and he was the record signing until Newcastle agreed to pay Atlanta United £21m in January. He was plagued by injuries throughout his time at St James’ Park.

The £16m buy has reopened an old wound in addressing the issue in his new book Reboot. He writes: “To put it simply, there has been a lot of lies, b******* and general mis-information surrounding the end of my time at Newcastle.

“Sadly, this feud (with Shearer) has continued to the present day. The more I think about it, the more I understand why Alan behaves the way he does and continues to spread negativity about me whenever he can.

“He was brought in at St James’ Park as the saviour, the local boy. It could have been a great story. But he failed. Newcastle United were relegated. Perhaps rather than examine his own shortcomings, it felt easier to blame Michael Owen.

“I told him that I wasn’t fully fit but was prepared to play. As I left his office that day, he made an insinuation that led me to believe he thought I had half an eye on my next contract. I’m not stupid – we both knew I was out of contract in a few weeks.

“It wasn’t until three months later I discovered that Alan Shearer was apparently seething with me. Not only that, it transpired that he was telling anyone who’d listen what he thought of me.

“When you analyse it, it all makes sense. Shearer’s record as manager in the last eight games of that 2008/09 season was dire: lost 5, drew 2, won 1. These are hardly God-like stats. The truth is, the damage was done long before we went to Villa Park needing to draw.”

But Shearer has responded and remains clearly aggrieved by Owen’s actions and version of events.

Newcastle’s greatest ever goalscorer posted a retweet of an interview Owen did with BT Sport last season in which he said “all I did for the last six, seven years of my career, I hated it. I couldn’t wait to retire for most of the back end of my career.”


And Shearer included a cheeky rebuke in that retweet: “Yes, Michael, we thought that also, whilst on a £120,000-a-week.”

But Owen wasn’t finished either. He responded: "Not sure you are as loyal to Newcastle as you make out mate.  "I distinctly remember you being inches away from signing for Liverpool after Sir Bobby Robson put you on the bench. You tried everything to get out."


Owen has also admitted he never wanted to sign for Newcastle in his book.  He spent four seasons on Tyneside after arriving from Real Madrid when he openly admits he was desperate for a return to Liverpool, who were unwilling to pay the £16m fee.

"I should have followed my gut instincts," Owen says. "I didn't want to go there - my heart was set on a return to Liverpool."

In his book, being serialised in the Daily Mirror, Owen admitted the Reds could not match Newcastle's offer 14 years ago, so he reluctantly agreed his switch to St James' Park.

"From a career perspective, there was no doubt in my mind that a move to the North-East was a downward step. As unpalatable as that opinion might be to Newcastle fans, that's more or less what I felt."

"Freddy Shepherd (former Newcastle chairman) was only doing what all the fans constantly do at almost every football club," said 39-year-old Owen.  "They believe their club is ten per cent bigger and their team is 10 per cent better than it actually is.

"This kind of blind delusion is especially true of Newcastle United - which, as I reach for the nearest tin hat, is only a big club in the sense that it has a lot of fans and a big stadium."