Ownership delay could spark revolt

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Newcastle could face a players' revolt if the club's ownership situation is not resolved within a fortnight.

It is understood several senior professionals at St James' Park are prepared to ask for moves away as Alan Shearer's wait to discover whether or not he will be appointed as manager continues.

The bulk of the players returned for pre-season training last Wednesday, by which point many had hoped the 38-year-old would have been installed. However, with current owner Mike Ashley in no mood to make an appointment with prospective buyers attempting top push through a sale, he remains in the same situation he was after holding talks at the end of last season.

That situation has caused growing unrest within the dressing room with the start of the new season a little more than four weeks away.

There have already been indications that the likes of Steven Taylor and Habib Beye, who have indicated their willingness to stay on Tyneside should Shearer get the job, have been unsettled by the hiatus.

In addition, French defender Sebastien Bassong's representatives have already held talks with two other English clubs, and his situation could become clearer when he returns from an extended summer break next Monday.

But it appears they are not alone in their frustration and that only a quick sale and resolution of the management situation could calm the waters.

Managing director Derek Llambias revealed on Monday that "more than two" of the consortia attempting to buy the club have met Ashley's £100million asking price, but a successful conclusion to negotiations cannot come soon enough for the players as they prepare for life in the Coca Cola Championship.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Steven Taylor
Habib Beye
Alan Shearer
Sebastien Bassong

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