'I tried to fine Newcastle stars 50% of their wages – then I heard knock at the door'
Alan Shearer has revealed the extent of the punitive measures he employed in an attempt to get the most out of his players while in charge of boyhood club Newcastle United.
The homegrown star, who scored 206 goals for the Magpies, was brought in as an emergency measure towards the end of the ill-fated 2008/09 campaign. The North East outfit faced being relegated from the Premier League for the first time in 16 years, leading to Shearer being handed the job while Joe Kinnear recovered from heart surgery.
It didn't go to plan, and Newcastle were sent down to the Championship after securing just five points from the club legend's eight games in charge. And despite being only a temporary fixture at the St. James' Park helm, Shearer didn't shy away when it came to enforcing strict rules on his players.
Speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast, England's former all-time top scorer said: "So what I tried to do, the first time you're late. I said, 'Everyone's clean. The first time you are late, it's 10% of your wages, the second time you are late, it's 20%, and the third time it's 50%.'
'Within two minutes of it hitting the dressing room floor, I had the players committee knock on my door saying, 'This is unacceptable.' You know what I said? I said, 'Just don't be f****ing late then.''"
The 53-year-old told co-hosts Gary Lineker and Micah Richards he was made aware of the 'huge problems' at the club when a member of staff and two players turned up late on his first day. It was only after one of the players turned up late again 'the next morning' despite Shearer having a 'quiet word' that he decided more stringent action was required.
Much like Newcastle's hopes of survival, the interim manager's fine system proved futile as the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) wouldn't allow it. The club was later relegated alongside West Brom and local rivals Middlesbrough, with Shearer left in the cold after he wasn't offered the manager's job on a long-term basis.
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Chris Hughton instead took over the team and guided the club back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. And as far as the public knows, he managed to do so without threatening to take half the players' salaries for being tardy.
While Shearer has maintained icon status from his days terrifying defences in Newcastle colours, his legacy as a coach is anything but intimidating. Though the same can't be said for his style of management, which would likely sink that much quicker if a coach attempted to impose such fines today.