Keegan: I had to quit

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Former Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan claimed the most difficult decision of his life had been vindicated after being awarded £2million in damages for constructive dismissal in his second spell in the St James' Park hot seat.

But it could have been much worse for the club with the 23-page document outlining details of the hearing, which was overseen by an independent arbitration panel and lasted almost two weeks, confirming Keegan's claim in total amounted to in excess of £25million - £16.5million of it based on the damage done to his future earnings potential.

"The decision to resign was one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever had to take in my life. said Keegan. "I believe that anybody who knows me and my attachment to Newcastle United and the north-east in general will understand how difficult this must have been.

He added: "I very much hope that the decision of the tribunal now confirms why I felt that I had no option but to resign from the position as manager of the club that I love.

The Yorkshireman walked out of St James' Park in September last year in protest at the signing of Uruguayan midfielder Ignacio Gonzalez after he told executive director of football Dennis Wise he did not want the player. There was no comment from Newcastle on Friday.

Keegan continued: "The tribunal has found the conduct of the club in forcing a player on me against my wishes represented a fundamental breach of my contract of employment.

"I do not believe that there is any manager in football who could have remained at the club in the light of their conduct.

"I resigned because I was being asked to sanction the signing of a player in order to 'do a favour' for two South American agents.

"No-one at the club had seen this player play and I was asked to sign him on the basis of some clips on YouTube. This is something that I was not prepared to be associated with in any way.

"The club knew that I objected strongly to this transfer and were aware that by continuing with it, I was likely to feel that I had no option but to resign. Notwithstanding this, they nevertheless went on to sign the player at very substantial cost to the club."

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Newcastle United
Kevin Keegan

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