Freddy’s a Greedy SOB

Just when we were thinking this has been probably the best 2 weeks for Newcastle fans for at least 10 years – Freddy Shepherd’s initial reaction to Mike Ashley’s rather sensational buy-out of Sir John Hall’s shares – is one of defiance.

Shepherd has always said he would only sell if it was in the best interests of Newcastle United (as it should be) – but not to put too fine a point on it – fans really know he’ll sell when its in the best interests of himself and not Newcastle’s.


Mike Ashley and Freddy Shepherd

Both Shepherd and Hall will make a handy profit on their sales – Sit John Hall landed around ₤55M yesterday and his investment back in 1992 is estimated to have been no more than ₤3M – so this transaction alone gives Sir John over ₤50M profit on Newcastle.

Freddy Shepherd would apparently make around ₤30M profit if he sold his shares.

However the initial reaction from Shepherd has not been warm.

Here’s what Freddy said about the bid:

“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.”

Now we know why Shepherd carefully ensured he had more than a 25% stake in Newcastle – so he could be the lynch pin on any deal.
Notice that his statement doesn’t even address whether it will be a good thing for Newcastle or not – and to us it is simply a ploy for him to extract more from Ashley – which by the way is not unusual in takeover attempts – but strikes us as particularly greedy.

The fans reaction has been very positive and if Shepherd plays possum – the fans have every right to protest – for the good of the club – to get Shepherd out.

If Shepherd really was truthful when he said he would sell to a “Geordie Abramovich” – then this is it – and we think he should sell – and will – if enough pressure is applied.

14 comments so far

  • steve

    May 24, 2007 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #1

    freddy is a dead man walking in fairness. ashley should be able to capture most of the public shares and isolate freddy.

    this is wholeheartedly for the good of the club and fred should f*&^&k off out. his parting gift being sam allardyce.

  • joe

    May 24, 2007 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #2

    If he fails to sell then his true colours will have been revealed once and for all. His interests begin – and end – at his own pockets. If Mr. Lashley is successful, our debts will be cleared, and we will be in a position to rival ANY club for players transfer fees and wages. maybe Mr lashley knows that with the right acumen, NUFC can be an enormous success. The support is there, the revenue is there, so hopefully he can kick on and take us soaring up the league. If we miss this opportunity then there may never be a better one to shake off our ‘unlucky losers’ tag.

  • andy craddock

    May 24, 2007 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #3

    i think we have to be careful here in asking why does a reclusive businessman who wants no pulicity (can you think of a worse club to takeover if you want no public attention?) all of a sudden want to throw £130 million to buy the club, then add further money needed to cover the debt and buy players.

    much as i loathe shepherd for his spiv mentality towards running our club, he is a genuine supporter and wouldn’t dream of severely crippling the club for his own personal gain. that isnt to say he wouldnt stretch things a bit to get something for himself (which he has done) but i dont think he would leave the club in a mess to the point of going under.

    and this is where all these new owners worry me. abrahomavic (sp!!) at chelsea seems to be more of an ego thing but all of these americans are in it for the money and nothing else. i am sure they wouldnt think twice about grabbing every last penny out of the club and doing a runner if the football bubble ever burst. and although our fella isnt american he hardly is an avid follower of our fortunes, or lack of them.

    i am not saying that he shouldnt get involved or shepherd should stay but i think we should be cautious (and admittedly optimistic) until we find out what his plans really are in more detail.

    bottom line is he will want his investment back plus profit so you have to think that over the course of running the club he is going to want £130m plus returned into his bank account. even shepherd hasnt taken that much out of the club.

    optimistic yes but lets hear more about this ashley bloke and his intentions before we get carried away. although the idea of a quiet chairman wanting to remain in the background does seem very appealing at the minute.

  • Ross G

    May 24, 2007 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #4

    If he cared about United as much as he claims (all the time), he should sell to Ashley because he can only be a good thing, or at least he will be better than Freddy. I have heard rumours that Ashley is interested in high investment to clear £60m debt, and invest heavily into both the academy and transfer prospects. The longer Freddy takes to sell the worse the club can become. Big Sam and the team need stability and certainty, not ‘ooo i think ill wait til he offers an extra £50m.’ Interestingly today the England B team was missing a player – Scott Parker, who has been heavily linked with a move to West Ham. Personally although not his best of seasons Sam is the type to motivate the likes of Parker, Dyer, to become solid and more importantly consistent games. Sam needs to be bringing players in now, as we have already missed out on useful players like Sidwell, Distin, Kaboul, Bale, etc and as Benitez mentioned today he is eager to bring tjhe quality in early as otherwise he will ‘be chasing 3rd or 4th priority targets.’ Something Freddy has always condemed us to, hence the signing of Bernard, and Sibierski ‘panick buys.’ Although it can be argued Freddy has always provided cash, unfortunetly it has been to the wrong managers due to his appointments of Souness, Roeder, Gullit, etc. Hopefully Ashley can complete the takeover soon, and allow Sam to get his transfers underway before we end up paying over the odds, or missing out altogether. Freddy is a corrupt leech, and fter studying the CV of Ashley he has top sports background and doesn’t need to take millions out the club to help his own company stay affloat.

  • Kev

    May 24, 2007 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #5

    Just look down the road at Wolves, Sir Jack Hayward has agreed to sell Wolverhampton Wanderers to Steve Morgan for a tenner whereas Shepherd has revealed himself for where his true loyalties lies, instead of embracing what potentially is the greatest thing to happen to Newcastle since Sir John took over, his only concern is to line his own pockets, Well fat Freddy the gravy train is coming to a stop and your days of nepotism while bleeding the club dry are coming to an end, if you havent left the club by the start of the season expect a warm welcome at the first game.

    I cant wait for the club to be run professionally without an egotist who only has disdain for the supporters and the folk of Newcastle, a rich recluse billionaire ticks all the boxs for me…

    Good riddance Shepherd.

  • joe

    May 24, 2007 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #6

    Got a feeling Parker is on his way, along with Carr, Babayaro, Dyer, Emre and possibly one of our strikers. A complete rebuilding of nthe club is what’s needed. Somehow I can’t see Mike lashley being in the News of the World with a ‘fake sheikh’ slagging us all off or on You Tube etc. FFS has too much to say but he is the root of the problem at our club. Get him out. Also, it seems Lashley appoints professionals to carry out his day to day running of business. I would expect an appointment of someone with tremendous credentials.

  • Rob Dowling

    May 24, 2007 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #7

    Unless Shepherd sells up within the next week, we need as many fans as we can on the steps at St. James’ protesting. If that doesnt work we all go in and throw the fat greedy bas***d out for the good of the club. The opportunity of a billionaire owner CANNOT be missed, and if the Fat one doesn’t agree, he’s been talking out his backside to us for years!

  • Ed Harrison

    May 24, 2007 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #8

    Rob – we’ll support you in that – but hope it doesn’t have to come to that – as we have said we will launch a protest on this site if Shepherd stalls – but in fairness to Freddy and the Board we need to give him a little time.
    But this is too good a deal for Newcastle, the city and the fans to let it pass.

  • Martin Bewick

    May 24, 2007 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #9

    Andy C……An investor won’t be “going to want £130m plus returned into his bank account”….they will simply be looking for a good return on their investnment…..the £130M is invested in shares so for an investor the ideal situation is to increase the share value, and in fotball this is often linked to performance on the pitch….he makes money on dividends and if he wants his investment back, he can sell his shares

  • Ross G

    May 24, 2007 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #10

    60 days they have, i bet he will sell on that 60th day, b**tard. He only cares for himself, im there for the protest, just tell me when

  • Ed Harrison

    May 24, 2007 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #11

    Martin – right on – best way to grow his investment is to make Newcastle successful. 😀

  • Ed Harrison

    May 24, 2007 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #12

    Ross G – don’t think the fans will let him hang on for too long.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 24, 2007 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #13

    Joe – i agree – it would be nice to have a Chairman who’s a real businessman – and would expect one from Mike Ashley. We’ve done so badly since Bobby Robson left surely Allardyce and Ashley has to be a couple of steps up for us. And we’ll be able to attract better players with Ashley as owner (and Sam as manager).

  • joe

    May 25, 2007 at 7:24 AM

    Comment #14

    I agree with Martin. If the club are successful on the field and we win something (choke on me cuppa!) then the club will take off and the feel good factor will make it one of the number one places to play football. Then, in a few years time if he wants his cash back, he’ll sell his shares and it’ll probably take £3 per share if this property deal has gone through and we’ll have a 65,000 seat stadium!!! I think he’s got to be given a chance. Even if it’s just to change the mentality of the club from top to bottom.


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