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Football: Newcastle "dying a slow death" - keeper Harper

sports Updated: Jul 13, 2009 19:19 IST

Newcastle are “dying a slow, painful death” as owner Mike Ashley tries to sell the club, goalkeeper Steve Harper claimed on Monday.

Several potential buyers have announced interest following the Magpies’ relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season but there is no sign a deal is close.

The impasse has left Alan Shearer uncertain about whether he will be re-appointed manager, and players in the dark about tactics for the new campaign.

Harper told local newspaper The Journal: “It’s an awful situation which we cannot do anything about as players. The sooner it is resolved, the better for everyone because we can start again.

“Everybody - fans, players, staff - wants it resolved so we can rebuild this football club because we are in an awful state at the moment.

“We want it to be done and dusted so we know where we are and where we are going because at this moment, the football club is dying a slow, painful death.

“We have to soldier on, but the sooner the better for everyone concerned - and most importantly for Newcastle United.”

Charlie Chawke, one of the members of the Drumaville consortium which took over at Sunderland three years ago, revealed Sunday that he was trying to put together another group to take over at Newcastle.

However, it is understood that consortia from Malaysia and America remain the favourites.

Harper says it is vital to end the uncertainty: “At the moment, the club is not rebuilding - it is in a state of limbo and it is no good for anyone.

“We just want to get this club going back in the right direction and the situation is very, very frustrating for all of us.”