Freddy Shepherd’s Time Is Up at Newcastle

Freddy Shepherd has always said he would sell his 29.8% stake in Newcastle United only if the right bid came along and it was good for the club.

He expanded by saying if a Geordie Abramovich came along he would sell – which was a reference to someone who was rich and able to pump big money into the club..

While Mike Ashley is not a Geordie – at least he’s an Englishman and worth close to ₤2B – and he has offered good money for the club. That offer will realize Shepherd a $30M profit on his investment and has already given John Hall close to a $50M profit on his Newcastle venture – started back in 1992.

Shepherd’s initial reaction is one of defiance – which has disappointed us greatly – here’s why.


Freddy Shepherd – “There Goes My Club”

From what we can gauge on this site the Newcastle fans are all for this deal – since it will allow Newcastle to challenge the top four clubs in the league – because big money will be pumped into the club – certainly as much as Big Sam ever dreamed of.

Freddy Shepherd needs to understand this – because aren’t the fans the most important aspect of the club.

Mike Ashley has never borrowed money to build any of his companies and he has already paid the Hall family in cash for their shares. Since half his fortune is in cash, there would be no problems like those associated with the buyouts of Manchester United and Liverpool – and there would be ample money to invest in the transfer market.

To reiterate more fully where Freddy Shepherd is coming from – here is his statement of yesterday:

“There is nothing Mike Ashley can do with this club unless he gets a 75% stake.
“He can’t take full control, he can’t change resolutions or the club’s articles of association.
“He has spent £50m but he will have to spend a whole lot more, as he must now make an offer not just for my shares but the shares held by all the other shareholders.”

In Shepherd’s statement above – nowhere is there anything related to whether it’s good for the club or the fans.

By his own admission – isn’t that what he will base his selling decision on – so why isn’t it at least mentioned?It wasn’t mentioned yesterday because Freddy is well aware the deal is good for the club, the city, the area – and most of all – it’s great for the fans.

What does come across plainly – is that he wants more money for his shares – and as we mentioned in an earlier piece today – that’s being greedy.

Freddy Shepherd – you’re time is up – it’s time to let go of Newcastle – and let somebody else come in – who has the good will of the club at heart – and has the means to take it to the next level – because you don’t.

Comments on this article are welcome.

45 comments so far

  • Paul Burr

    May 24, 2007 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #1

    Governance question: Does this mean that as and when Mr Ashely obtains 51% of the shares available then he can depose Shepherd from the position of Chairman, even vote him off the Executive Board?

    What precisely will his powers be?

  • Kris

    May 24, 2007 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #2

    I must go against the flow here. I am a Newcastle fan and I am against the Ashley takeover. I think he has done this to ‘put one’ over on Dave Whealan at Wigan because he is his main buissness rival due to his ownership of JJB.

    I have worked for Mike Ashley’s company for over 5 years and dont get me wrong, its a smashing place to work, but only one thing matters – Profit. Newcastle made a loss last year therefore Ashley has not done this to make a profit. He also has no interst at all in club football so I cannot see how this is good for the club.

    In conclusion, I think that he has just jumped on the bandwagon of owning a football club and wants to match Dave Whealan for what he has got.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 24, 2007 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #3

    I think once he gets 51% of the shares he has the majority of shares and can therefore win any vote of the shareholders – by how he votes. This then would make it very difficult for other shareholders to do much at all – because between them they have less than 50% – a minority in any vote – and they would never win any vote – on their own.

  • craig chisholm

    May 24, 2007 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #4

    i have no idea if he can depose FF or not mate btu it does mean that as he is a maj holding that FF is a lame duck now and cn not do anything really unless it is approved by Mike Ashley. I think that basically, no matter what noises and bravardo FF is making now, he knows its over. Besides, he is going to walk away with 30 lil clear profit. why should he want to stay?? i know he is lifelong supporter but he can still have access to many privilages and still come see us and support us as a fan.
    make no mistake lads, this is great for the toon. plus this bloke altough looks really mild mannered in looks and presence, he is an amazing man. self made, never made a poor investment in his life, turns everything he touches into gold and he has HARD CASH – NO LOANS. this is great for the security of newcastle utd. Hats off to sir john too. it is clear that the hall family did not believe that FF has the best intentions of us at heart and they refused to sell to him. infact, the halls have obviously been so disalusioned with FF that they have on purpose sold their shares without telling FF to a bloke they know is of sound character and can take us onto the world stage.
    Mike owns sports world i thinkso we get instant global shirt sales and brand recognition.
    another thing that can not be overlooked is that Ashley is …….A BRIT. it has to be better than having korean, yank, thail or arab ownership.
    in short this is bloodt great. amazing time for newcastle when you think about it and it is what we need. new owner, ff going, new manager, whole new club and back room staff way of thinking and infrastructure, plus aload of the shit players out and the obvious addition of some much needed new blood and talent. we have to realsie that with such massive wholesale changes in the entire newcastle utd group that it is going to take time for it to gel. lets just be happy for sams first season with a ‘comfortable’ top half of the table position and stability. it is going to take afull season to make it gel.

  • Mick G

    May 24, 2007 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #5

    Mr. Shepherd should do something that he hasn’t done before.Show some dignity and leave now, otherwise the press will make a story of this, and it could get messy.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 24, 2007 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #6

    Craig – as soon as Hall sold his shares – think you’re right – it’s over for Shepherd – and he knows it.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 24, 2007 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #7

    Ashley has basically executed a coup on Shepherd.

  • Noel Hopper

    May 24, 2007 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #8

    At an AGM he will have a bigger share of the voting rights than FF and as such should be able to remove the rotund one from his current position. He may even already have enough shares to be able to call an extra ordinary meeting. If he gets to 51% he would be able to effectivly wind up the PLC and take the club back into private ownership. At that point the price per share would become negligible and thus FF is actually in danger of losing 30 mil. I would sell now if I was him before the offer is no longer on the table. If the city investors which currently hold about 20-25% of the club decide that 20 mill is good for there shareholders then ff will possibly lose everything.

  • Kris

    May 24, 2007 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #9

    Guys is no one taking not of my comment? Ashley has done this as a buissness veture only! he wont pump money ito the club he just wants us for merchandise rights!

    He has had a couple of spats with Adidas and now owns 3% of them and now has them over a barrel!

    I work for the guy and he is good to work for but its all down to money at the end of the day and it is not good for newcastle!

  • Ed Harrison

    May 24, 2007 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #10

    Kris – but if he’s done it as a business venture and wants to get a return from it – that is – make the club worth more – why wouldn’t he try to make Newcastle successful – and to do that we’d need about ₤30M for summer transfers – as a start. Why isn’t that good for Newcastle? We’d get more investment than under Shepherd.

  • Kris

    May 24, 2007 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #11

    Merchandise thats all – Ear mark my comments and get back to me at the end of the season. He will flood his shops with Adidas and Newcastle products, thats all he wants our club for! To secure a foothold in Adidas – I make the following predictions:

    Out sponsors change from Northern Rock to Sports World when the contracts up


    Lonsdale to supply our kits when the deal with Adidas is up

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    May 24, 2007 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #12

    When i heard the news this morning i couldn’t believe it and I had to pinch myself about 5 times. This is the best news I’ve heard for years!! I just can’t believe the fat greedy bastard of Freddy Shepherd not accepting the deal instantly, what the hell is there to think about??!! Shepherd should leave now before we have to make a demonstration against him which will be wasting valuable time for transfers this summer. SHEPHERD LEAVE NOW YOU FAT GREEDY BASTARD!!!!!!!! STOP ACTING ALL MACHO AND F**K OFF YOU’RE NOT WANTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jamie

    May 24, 2007 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #13

    Kris – ANYTHING that gets rid of Shepherd is a step in the right direction. The man has taken us from a top 2 team to a bunch of relegation dodgers in 10 years of misrule. In that time he has pocketed minimum £600k pa salary and all the share dividends and “ahem”, various other deals.
    In the meantime he has allowed on average about £6m per year on transfer outgoings. That is chicken feed. Coupled with his abysmal choice in managers, reprehensible treatment of the only decent one Sir Bobby, his News of the World sting (thank you for insulting the female Geordies – they are not “dogs”) and his continual embarassment to the club due to his constant juvenile utterances to the press. The latest being a rather transparent campaign to force Michael Owen from the club.

    And you have a problem with losing this man!

    If Mr Ashley is just in it for the money that suits me fine – as to make money NUFC must be in Europe every season, constantly on Sky matches and competing for trophies.


    ps. keep up the good work Ed!

  • carl

    May 24, 2007 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #14

    kris- i understand your comments and your probably right about merchandise etc.but most successfull clubs make money on this.and also i think their is a flip side to this- ashley is obviously very successfull with his businesses and this one wont be no different hes better than what weve got any day and hey hes worth almost 2 billion.he will pump cash into the team and make them a major force and make a profit.everyones a winner and yep that will include fat fred!!!

  • craig chisholm

    May 24, 2007 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #15

    Kris, your points are taken onboard mate but i have a different train of thought altogether. when you think that if man city also get bought up soon (which it looks like), thats about half of the prem into private/ co-operate ownership. we have to do this mate. whether we like it or not- this is the way bigtime footy is going. Whelan has owned Wigan for a fair time now – 1999 or something like that. If mike ashley had wanted to get one over on JJB why has he waited so long to do it? He could have bought man utd if he had wanted too – for cash. And of course he wants to see a profit, he is a buisiness man, are you trying to suggest that all of the other owners of prem teams are only in it cos they love the teams? no way. its buisiness yes, but it is good buisiness. the glaziers describe manure as ‘a wonderful franchise’. does that sound like they are not in it for the money to you?? mike ashley owns loads of other things appart from just sports world too. kangol, dunlop, lillywhites, shit loads of stuff. I am fully behind this happening and if it has got to happen then i am pleased that we have at least got a brit at the helm, not some faceless aisan investor who does not even know who sam allaydace is or the rules of football even.

  • carl

    May 24, 2007 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #16

    i agree craig, i think good times are ahead

  • Kris

    May 24, 2007 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #17

    He is not worth 2 billion like people say he is – thats the most he’s ever accumulated –

    Look up the rich lists for the last coulple of years – he had £50 million than he floated his company which netted him almost £1 billion – half of his fortune.

    He has invested alot of this cash in buying Blacks, Original Shoe co., parts of Newcastle and over 200 million to Adidas.

    His shares are worth half of what he sold them for – just shows hoe successful his floatation was!

    Still against it

  • dougy j reay

    May 24, 2007 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #18

    Yeah, have to totally agree Kris. Don’t entirely see what you are getting at. So you’re saying this guy – who has made a fortune from scratch through business smarts, has just decided to spend £100m+ on buying a club so he can… er… what exactly? Say to Dave Whelan “oi, whelan. I own a club as well. take that.” What would that achieve? Let’s face it, this guy hasn’t gotten where he is today by wasting hundreds of millions of pounds for the sake of it. The fact that we didn’t turn a profit last year does not mean we are incapable of it. and he must think can turn it profitable. In fact, consider the amount of wages that have just walked out the door this month, add in Babayaro, Luque and a couple more and hey – maybe it’s not even that big an ask..
    As for this ‘he’s doing it to get one over on Adidas’ idea not sure I get that either. What has that got to do with anything? If he has a problem with Adidas there are better and more direct ways to take them on than by spending £100m+ on a football club so you can.. er… what? Revoke their corporate hospitality?
    And as for ‘using us for merchandising rights’ don’t get you. If he wants to sell loads of NUFC shirts through his shops, why is that a bad thing for the club? OR the other way round, if he uses the club to publicise his sports shops/brands… still not sure how that is a bad thing. Either SportsWorld or whatever becomes a paying advertising customer of NUFC, or a sponsor which is no different than being associated with any other company.
    Personally I totally agree with the article – John Hall resisted Polygon and all the others so the fact that he has sold to Ashley clearly suggests the guy has given him some reason to think he is a good prospective owner. Fat Fred is just doing his usual and trying to get one last session at the trough before (finally) handing in his keys at the door.
    I’ve almost been a fan – weirdly enough – of FFS at times. Despite getting a lot of stick and clearly being an idiot, he does seem to support the club ina football sense. But its obvious he is still a selfish greedy oaf out to fill his boots whilst doing it. I’ll be glad to see him go, but wasnt thrilled at the prospect of a takeover by asset strippers (i.e. a company) or some dodgy foreign exile (although a foreign owner would not bother me at all if they were reputable.)
    Like most of you I guess I just wanted to see the club go to someone who would show it the respect and care it deserves, and I don’t see why Mike Ashley is not that guy. I don’t expect him to thump his entire life savings into a team of ronaldinhos this summer but then again I think he deserves benefit of the doubt. Don’t get me wrong Kris, you clearly know something we don’t but I think I’ll wait and see before I write him off (after all he can’t be any worse than the current guy).
    Oh, and whilst I’m commenting just thought I’d say what a great blog this is. Seems to totally sum up the kind of thing normal sensible newcastle fans actually think, which is nice given the utter #@!& that usually gets passed off as our opinions. Keep up the good work!

  • carl

    May 24, 2007 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #19

    ive read hes had an average salary for a few years of 17 mil,can anyone remind me what shaepherd and halls was?? we need the cash ,so what!! everything in the world is money driven

  • dougy j reay

    May 24, 2007 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #20

    my god that response came out longer than i intended. sorry people.

  • craig chisholm

    May 24, 2007 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #21

    Kris, you are wrong mate – he is officially worth 1.9billion. 1 billion of that is cash – the rest in assests etc.
    i am not following why you are against this yet to be honest either – you have not put an agument forward yet other than that you think he only wants a profit – as does every other single plc and owner of football clubs in every single country in the world mate. that is their job, our job is to support our team, sams job is to manage and make us a winning team. i think this is great.
    ok, so what, he wants to flood his shops with our mechandise – bad thing???
    if it makes financial sense for him to sponsor us too instead of addidas or northern rock then i dont see the argument here either??? you need to put a better point forward as to why this is so bad in your own mind. despite working for him and say he is good to work for too .

  • Kris

    May 24, 2007 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #22

    Well i suppose we can just wait and see guys but it does not fill me full of confidance! I work for this guys company and just think that it is wrong!

  • carl

    May 24, 2007 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #23

    i agree craig, im pretty chuffed as it couldnt of hapened at a better time.this bloke has got his head screwed on and wouldnt hang out car windows talking to scousers about owens future ,and why on earth would the bloke make a twat out of himself by not being successfull?

  • Ed Harrison

    May 24, 2007 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #24

    Kris – but do you really think it’s worse than what we have now? Would expect him to look at the money and business side of things – of course – but he could still fund transfers etc. and it’s not that Sam needs an awful lot – like Souness was able to waste. I’m still hopeful – but then I usually am. 😀

  • carl

    May 24, 2007 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #25

    does the fact that he supports the newly appointed manager make you think hes been in for the toon for a while now and maybes he had a little influance on who the new manager was?? we all know freddys a big fat liar.either way hes better than what weve got

  • carl

    May 24, 2007 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #26

    oh and if freddy shep is a real toon fan he should just sell up on the terms he gets a life long season ticket,he deserves that

  • Ed Harrison

    May 24, 2007 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #27

    carl – don’t think Ashley was involved in new manager at Newcastle at all – Shepherd did that – and apparently was blind-sided by Tuesday’s buyout of Hall – think Mike probably feels Allardyce is a step up from Roeder.

  • Graeme

    May 24, 2007 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #28

    OK here is another slant.

    The Halls will not sell to FFS – so FFS gets a 3rd party to buy the Halls share and then buys them off the 3rd party. After all the 3rd party, by his own admission, is not a supporter of club football.

    I hope I am wrong – but lets face it the Fat One has pulled bigger stunts than this

  • larsson

    May 24, 2007 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #29

    Kris because you work for sports world doesn’t mean you know the man or his motives you don’t even work for him you work for a company he owns a majority stakehold in. Who ever is in charge fans should just get behind the team 100% the only concern i have is shepard fannying around not selling and leaving big sam in limbo with transfer plans not knowing whats going on.

  • John

    May 24, 2007 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #30

    Kris, I get the impression you have a touch of “I work for this guys Company so I know more than you lot”…

    A club wont appreciate in value or make more profit if you send it downwards in the leagues !!!

    Virtually every club to have been taken over has reaped the benefits.

    I believe ours and Mike Ashley’s goals, whilst possibly through different motives, are perfectly aligned. Good Product+Good Leadership=Successful Business.

    Remember how scared Man Utd fans were of the Glaziers before they took over? Just Won the league.

    Remember the scepticism before the dodgy Russian took over Chelsea? Just won the FA cup.

    Forget the big Teams if you like…look at Wigan and Reading…All recent success stories.

    Do you know what is most exiting? We have a MASSIVE head start on all bar 3 or 4 teams…A huge and loyal fan base, a stadium worthy of anyone, and training facilities to match.

    Lets get it on…

  • Alex

    May 24, 2007 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #31

    I have to say, one thing (as minor as it may be) that I hope he doesn’t do is change our kit supplier to Umbro or Lonsdale or some other pants brand. Adidas are a reputable brand and make nice kits. And as to his takeover, I am stting on the fence at the moment. I have my reservations, but a billionaire owning the club can’t really be a bad thing, can it (unless he does everything for his own benefit, and not the fans)?

  • dinko

    May 24, 2007 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #32

    I am just hopping that all of this will be finish very soon. That will help Sam to start working as soon as possible. 15 or 50 millions is huge difference but it is more important for Sam to get 15M earlier than 50M in august. I think that every club in next few years will be in the hands of some millioner or billioner because football is a huge bussines and that’s why the biggest bussinesmans in the world are interested in football. If Newcastle could have one of these now, that is better than stay only club in premier league without millions pumped in. I do not like abramovic’s way of making a big club with money but unfortunetly that is only way today. Abramovic started this thing and others must follow him. But there is one huge difference: Newcastle have tradition which Chelsea can’t buy with all money of the world. I wish Mike Ashley succesful takeover the club and if he can make profit that is ok with me becouse that means that Newcastle will actually win something and that is just what we all want. So, money for Mike is pleasure for us!

  • reggie22

    May 24, 2007 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #33

    KRIS,i have to say this i understand your opinion but i cant agree with u he ain’t doing this cos whelan does i think u will find he owns quite a big share of JJB himself and if all your after is profit u sure as hell wouldn’t buy a football club he would just carry on in shares where he does very well.u say all he wants is profit well if i was a boss that’s all id want that is all anyone wants but the beauty of your argument is this
    have u ever heard a a non successful football team that makes profits your answer no ! S o its simple to make profits he has to make Newcastle huge world wide and the only place this will start is on the pitch that’s FACT look at manu real Madrid they only got where they are cos they are great on the pitch we will never make a profit unless we do it on the pitch WHICH can only spell good things r coming for Newcastle on the pitch which is where we all want to see it let them boys worry about all the stuff of it as long as i come home on a Saturday stinking of beer with a grin from ear to ear i don’t care !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kris

    May 24, 2007 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #34

    ok ok, lets give the guy a chance. I don’t share a previous point by John that I know something you guys dont.

    Just working for the company he owns and seeing the sheer speed and power that this guy can purchase something is mental. I think the only thing that worries me is how he is not really into football and what he done to Blackburns merchandise via Lonsdale.

    Well lets see what Mr. Ashley does but it will take mega-bucks to breack into the top 4.

    Also (don’t know if this will be posted) Check out it is a site that my friend has started.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 24, 2007 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #35

    Kris – you’re OK now with all comments on this site – just had to OK your first one. 😀

  • craig chisholm

    May 24, 2007 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #36

    HA Graeme, i think that not even freddy could pull that one off mate, na, ffs is against the ropes mate. he knows it an so do we. this is great, it really is. I agree though with another quote – lonsdale gear is pants – i hope we stay with adidas – i am sure we will. we have only just signed up for the new kit deal and i am sure that there would be massive legal minefields involved in getting out of that contract.
    we just need this sorted out asap though, if fat fred has any decencey in him, he will move aside as all of this – as good as it is, is possibly effecting transfers etc. i am suprised funny enough that we dont as of yet seem to have any solid transfers lined up. saying as we have no defence at all now – as we just kicked them out of the door, i hope that sam brings in a good defence for us sooner rather than later. it has to kick off soon i think. i hope that we get rid of a few more donkeys soon too, babs and carr can pack their bags for a start.

  • Amorn

    May 25, 2007 at 6:17 AM

    Comment #37

    Ed, you got part of this right abt the ownership and decision making process. the thing is if Mike got 51% then he can win any decision by majority vote (since he own majority) but the idea is that if anyone hold more than 25% (FS) then he can stop any decision being made or implement in the company. Even if Mike hold 74.99% then it wouldnt matter since FS can still stop his plan in deicion making.
    This is what I fear most is that FS will not sell his share and this might go on for months or probably year and this is the last thing in the world that Newcastle United PLC and fans need right now (instability in management).

    I really hope they solve this issue soon enough

  • Andy

    May 25, 2007 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #38


    I totally agree he is going to be profit motivated. Brilliant.
    Why – Ok the profits from football over the next 10 years are going to come from TV revenue as the clubs get the rights to negotiate their own TV deals. So lets think about which clubs are going to be able to make the most profit – the ones that have the most matches to show and of the highest quality. That translates directly into – the ones going on long cup runs and playing champions league/UEFA Cup football. Also the ones which have the braodest reach – which translates directly into those with global reputaion.
    So this guy wants to make lots of profit and the best way for him to acheive that is to invest sensibly over the next couple of years in taking NUFC back to consistent top 5 finishes and making it into a global brand that means kids around the world grow up idolising our players and wanting to come and play for us in the future. Can you highlight in that the downside?

  • Andy

    May 25, 2007 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #39


    Well said. I was going to point out that there are two kinds of vote that happen, those that require a simple majority (i.e. more than 50%) and those that require a qualified majority (exactly what that is depends on the articles of association, but from all thats flying around I’m assuming at NUFC this is 75%). Normally to change the articles, or to remove a director requires a qualified majority. That means that FS has enough voting rights to block anything requiring a qualified majority. So FS has enough to be a complete pain in the backside. The flip side is that there a big fat juicy carrot of 28 Million quid sitting there (although this will probably be down to about 18M after the other fat greedy BarSteward about to become PM has had his slice of pie). If he doesn’t sell now, I dont think anyone else will look at NUFC and his gravy train will have left the station. He might be looking at the TV bucks and hoping to have those for himself, but I don;t think there’s too many championship chairmen particularly salivating over that right now and thats where we’re headed as long as Shepherd is at the helm.

  • Amorn

    May 25, 2007 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #40

    Thanks for giving us such a clear picture on the voting different. Appreciate knowing something new each day 😀


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