Shay Given has opened up about the reasons why he decided to end his 12-year long association with Newcastle United back in 2009.
The free agent goalkeeper has made the revelation in his recently released autobiography 'Shay: Any Given Saturday', and excerpts from his memoirs were posted by the Chronicle newspaper.
Given called time on his Magpies career as he completed an £8m switch to Manchester City, and he explained how the changing nature of the club led him to grow tired at the growing circus on Tyneside.
He admitted: “Every transfer window we were selling our best players and replacing them with free transfers and mediocre players.
“That wasn’t the club I joined. It was an ambitious club I joined and challenging at the top of the league and not in a relegation dogfight.
“I’m not saying I was too good for that - I just felt the opportunity with Manchester City and the club going places was there and too good to turn down. Had Newcastle been investing in the team like Manchester City, I would never had left the football club.
“It was a footballing decision and it did pull on the heartstrings with family here, so it was a big decision to move.”
Given, who amassed 436 appearances between July 1997 and his transfer to City, also hit out at not being handed a decent send off by the men in the corridors of power at St. James' Park - something that still irks him to this day.
The ex-Republic of Ireland international added: “I just felt I was unfairly treated when I left.
“I think I had the third most appearances for the football club and I just felt the least they could have said was thanks for your services. They bought me for £1.5m and sold me for four, five times that.
“I was not asking for a boat down the Tyne but it would have just been nice to say ‘thanks for your services’.
“I got paid for it and I’m not saying I did it for free - I just felt such a strong affiliation with the fans and the way the board dealt with it was very poor.
My top 5.— Éamonn McClean III (@EamonnMcClean) October 31, 2017
1. Ray Clemannce
3. Pepe Reina
4. Shay Given
5. Pat Bonner
“But I was moving to a new club, I didn’t want to be mouthing off about Newcastle. You speak about Newcastle and how it’s badly treated and people separate it from the football club itself and the fans - it’s the ownership I felt badly treated by.
“I think people should never say a bad word about the football club and the fans but at the time I didn’t want to say too much.
"Hopefully the fans will read it and some might still be disappointed I left but hopefully understand why I did.”