Magpies hit back at Owen
Llambias and Shepherd angered by 'poor team' comment
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp. Last Updated: June 3, 2011 3:34pm
Owen: United striker has come under fire for comments about his former club Newcastle
Newcastle have hit back at comments from striker Michael Owen which suggested the St James' Park side were a 'poor' team.
The Manchester United forward, who spent a disappointing four-year spell in the North East which was badly blighted by injury, made his comments on Twitter earlier in the week.
Owen, responding to criticism after signing an extension to his contract at Old Trafford, wrote: "Prefer playing less often in a top team than every game in a poor team. Been there and didn't enjoy it."
Having splashed out £16million to land the former Liverpool favourite from Real Madrid, the Magpies saw Owen score 26 goals in 58 Premier League starts for the Tyneside outfit.
But the fact that the England international, who suffered a serious knee injury during the 2006 World Cup in Germany and missed a significant chunk of his Newcastle career as a result, elected to run down his contract and leave for nothing still rankles with many of the Toon Army.
Current chairman Derek Llambias feels the 31-year-old would have been wise to keep his opinions to himself, particularly given the sums invested in his services by the North East club.
"We might have been a poor team, but we made him a rich man."
Freddy Shepherd Quotes of the week
Llambias told the Daily Express: "Michael is the most expensive signing Newcastle has ever made and I'm disappointed with his comments.
"Under Kevin Keegan's management he was offered a one-year extension at £140,000 a week which he did not take. He was already on £133,000 a week.
"Quite honestly, what did Newcastle United get out of it? His time here cost £40-odd million, about £1.3m per goal."
And former co-owner Freddy Shepherd, who brought Owen to Newcastle from Real in the summer of 2005, also believes the forward should show more respect to his old employers.
He added: "We might have been a poor team, but we made him a rich man.
"It works out at around £500,000 for every game in a Newcastle shirt. Poor? Well, he wasn't poorer for it.
"He spent more time ferrying between Cheshire and Tyneside in his £3.5m helicopter."