Considering Steven Taylor had only made 25 league starts in the past three years, through injury and poor form, it would have been incredibly bad business if he had been given another proper contract. On a par with the previous decisions to give the likes of Fabricio Coloccini and Sammy Ameobi new deals last summer.
“Newcastle United is a business club. You can bring in players who are worth money, I didn’t cost anything, you have to get assets to keep the value.
“I had been loyal to Newcastle since I was a nine year old lad, so to come out of that was a big risk.
“However, I do hope they do bounce back. They have had a hard few years and I want to wish them all the best- but I want to focus on my new life.”
Almost moving to Turkey:
“I was there (Turkey) when it (attempted coup) all happened, a Turkish side came in for me and got me out there.
“I had agreed nearly everything until that night, we went to a restaurant in Istanbul and everyone suddenly started leaving.
“I had my dad ringing and texting me to ask if everything was OK and I didn’t realise what was going on – I couldn’t get back to the hotel as the military came in and blocked us off.
“It was a nerve-racking thing but the Turkish people looked after us and I got back to the hotel the next day.
“The next morning it was back to normal – it was a freak thing but I felt safe.”
The day after returning from Turkey, Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson called:
“I think I spoke to him at 11.30 at night and by 4am I was at the airport for a flight out here.
“I flew Newcastle to Amsterdam and then on to Portland, he wanted me here to see the game against LA Galaxy and to talk. Clubs were coming in.
“I was straight on the flight, two suitcases and I was living out here and I haven’t gone back (to Newcastle) since. I was back a day from Turkey and the next night they were telling me to get on the flight.
“I met the owner, watched the game in a box then met the manager after the game. We talked and in the space of 45 minutes the deal was done and dusted.”