BIRMINGHAM, May 25 – Alan Shearer has warned owner Mike Ashley that Newcastle risk repeating a Leeds United style nose-dive into oblivion unless he sorts out the host of problems destroying the club.Ashley was at Villa Park on Sunday to watch Newcastle surrender their 16-year membership of the Premier League thanks to an own goal from Damien Duff.
Now he will meet with Shearer this week to discover whether the former Newcastle striker is willing to take the manager’s job full-time.
Shearer admits he has been bitten by the managerial bug and would like to remain at the helm to try to regain Premier League status at the first attempt next season.
But he has seen so many things wrong at the club in the past few months, and for long periods before that, that he fears the club could implode completely, like Leeds who are now in League One, unless major changes are made.
"There are a million things wrong with this club that need to be sorted out. I know people will make comparisons with Leeds United and I understand that. The people who are in charge have to decide what they want to do and what direction they want the club to go," Shearer said.
"I have my own ideas on what needs to be done and I can see why people say management is addictive. There has to be a major overhaul and players need to go out and players need to come in. The football club has to decide where it wants to go from here."
Shearer is expected to meet with Ashley in the next 48 hours and in the aftermath of the defeat at Villa Park he refused to elaborate on his future.
"I know everyone wants to know what I am going to do. You won’t believe me when I say I have not had time to really think about it," he said.
"But we need to have the meeting sooner rather than later and make decisions. It does not take a genius to see what is wrong with the club.
"Those guys have some major decisions to make. There are millions of questions to be answered. I will give them my thoughts but they might not ask me to be the manager."
Shearer admits he was shocked at the state of disrepair he found the club in when he took over eight games ago and he feels certain members of the playing staff have let the club down.
He certainly felt short-changed by the lack of passion and desire at Villa Park.
"I am not too sure everyone has played to their maximum. I have told them all that they can look for all the excuses they like. They might not think I have been good enough, Mike Ashley has not been good enough, or Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear and Chris Houghton, but it is what is in the dressing room that has not been good enough," added Shearer.
"There are huge problems at Newcastle. It has been going on for several seasons. The worst three teams get relegated and unfortunately for me Newcastle are one of them.
"I am hurting and I am raw inside right now. We have let down our fantastic supporters and there are a hell of a lot of things that have gone wrong."
Villa boss Martin O’Neill believes the Premier League will be a poorer place without Newcastle, but backed Shearer to stay at the club, saying: "I think it would be great if he stays.
"It would be great for Newcastle and it would be really good for the game. He could turn into a really top class manager. He is like Roy Keane, he can be anything that he wants to be."