Michael Owen’s new book reveals how his move to Newcastle United turned into a nightmare after he discovered the treatment room lacked all the luxuries to which he had become accustomed.
Owen moved to Newcastle in 2005 for £17m, a move that made him one of the highest-paid players in the premier league at the time, and then spent four years in and out of their treatment table.
He wrote, “It’s a question I asked all of my prospective clubs – what’s your treatment room like? I mean you wouldn’t book a holiday without knowing a bit about the room you’re going to spend most of your time in, would you? And this was going to be four-year-long holiday. Of course I wanted to know about it.
“Newcastle chairman Freddie Shepherd assured me that the treatment room was the very height of luxury, and that it had a seven-star rating. Well, that closed the deal for me.
“The treatment rooms at Liverpool and Real Madrid were absolutely first class, you could easily think you were staying in the presidential suite of a top hotel – but it turned out this was not the case in Newcastle.
“There were no windows, there were pictures of human anatomy on the walls, instead of a massive widescreen TV there were various grim-looking medical machines and the bed was like the sort of thing you’d find in a hospital. An NHS hospital mind you, not one of the nice ones.
“Honestly, it was probably the worst footballing decision I ever made. Well, until I joined Stoke.”