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Ex-Newcastle keeper coach Woodman lifts lid on those 8-year Ashley contracts: Brilliant!

Former Newcastle United goalkeeper coach Andy Woodman has revisited the eight-year contract he and Alan Pardew were given by owner Mike Ashley.

Woodman says that a chance meeting with Toon owner Ashley in a Jesmond night spot resulted in the bumper deals for Pardew, Woodman, Steve Stone and John Carver almost a decade ago.

As it turned out, Pardew left in early 2015 and his coaching staff departed later that year but it did not stop the deals being the talk of Tyneside for some time.

Woodman told popular podcast Under the Cosh, hosted by ex-players Jon Parkin and Chris Brown: "Brilliant wasn't it?!

"It was a bizarre moment really. There's been a lot said about the eight-year contract.

"I'd gone out on a Friday night with a friend and his wife at 'As you like it' in Jesmond.

"Then I hear Mike Ashley is in the building!

"Mike, Derek Llambias and their crew made a beeline towards me.

"I thought I was in trouble, but Mike wanted to get the shots in.

"The shots kept coming and Mike just said: 'You've done a great job, I'm going to give you an eight-year contract tomorrow'.

"It was as if the music had stopped."

Woodman picked up the tale the next day and said: "I got to the stadium I walked down the pitch, down the tunnel and into Alan Pardew's office.

"Pards was reading the Times and said: 'Did you have a good night?'

"I said that Mike had come out with something, and he said: 'Yeah it's right, you have to go and sign an eight-year deal after the game."

"I was buzzing.

"Pards asked what I was going to do and I wondered what answer does he want here.

"He said: 'You can't sign an eight-year deal, it's longer than mine, Steve Stone and John Carver.

"They'd think: 'What a s*** house!'

"I agreed and said I'd go up and say I couldn't sign it after the game.

"I said to Mike: 'I appreciate the offer but it will cause you a bigger problem with the manager and staff.

"Then he said: 'I'll give you all eight-year contracts then.'

"Pards then pulls me and says: 'You've caused mayhem now he's offered us all eight-year contracts.'

"It went quiet for about six weeks then Pards said he'd agreed his and ours would be getting sent to you.

"You've got us all tied into eight years!"

Incredibly the contracts proved to be a lucrative affair for all concerned.

Woodman added: "We expected these contracts to be one-year severance (if dismissed).

"The sports lawyer rang me and said: 'Have you signed this contract yet?'

"I was like no I wasn't sure what do you think.

"He said: 'I'm telling you to get a ****ing pen and sign and get sacked as quick as you can!

"There's a full pay out there.

"He will pay up if it goes wrong, he's invested in you guys and will pay up within days."

But Woodman stated the contracts were not always an advantage.

Woodman went on: "It became a noose around our neck.

"Whenever we'd play the opposition staff would only talk about the eight years! It was mental."

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Paul Vegas

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