Football

Fergie Hoodwinked Newcastle Into Giving Keith Gillespie Major Pay Rise

Fergie Hoodwinked Newcastle Into Giving Keith Gillespie Major Pay Rise

In the middle of the 1994/95 season, Keith Gillespie departed Manchester United as part of the deal which saw Andy Cole move to Old Trafford from Newcastle.

Gillespie did not have an agent and so Alex Ferguson acted as his representative in negotiations with Newcastle. The Northern Ireland winger, who was 19 at the time, was on £230 per week at Manchester United.

"We got to the hotel, got on the hotel phone and I rang home,” Gillespie told the UTD Podcast.

"My mum answered and I explained the situation and the manager comes on to her and said, ‘Look, is it OK if I do the deal and act as his agent?’ She said she was happy enough with that. And I remember the manager said to me, ‘When we go in here, don’t say a word'.

"We were on £230 a week and the contract was going up to £250 a week the next year, but I remember sitting at a big round table with Sir Alex, Kevin Keegan, Freddy Shepherd, the chairman, Freddie Fletcher, the chief executive.

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"I was sat with my head down and remember Sir Alex going, ‘Well, Keith’s on £600 a week at the minute and we want you to double it to £1,200'. I sort of looked up and he said [again], ‘£600,’ and gave me this look as if to say, ‘Don’t say a word here'. And Newcastle agreed to it right away."

Picture credit: Sportsfile and Melinda Nagy / Shutterstock.com

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