Shepherd calls for Owen loyalty

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Former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd believes Michael Owen "owes" the Toon fans at least one more season on Tyneside.

The striker released a statement on Monday saying he will wait until the end of the season, when his contract expires and he could leave for nothing, before deciding whether to stay at St James' Park.

Shepherd, who oversaw England star Owen's £17million move from Real Madrid in 2005, told the Daily Express: "He has been injured a lot of the time since I signed him and he has barely played one in four games that he could have done had he been fit. He owes Newcastle another year."

He added: "He should remember what the club did for him, especially after his World Cup injury in 2006 in Germany. We looked after him and ensured he had the best care for the next year.

"I personally went to Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president, and as a result we got the international insurance changed to cover not just £50,000 of a player's wages but £100,000.

"Michael won't want to hear what I am saying but that's the way it is. They say there is no loyalty in football any more but this is an extreme case. He has been very well paid, handsomely paid, for four years and there should be some return for Newcastle.

"There should at least be a thread of loyalty."

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