Selfish Shepherd to Battle Ashley over Newcastle Takeover


Newcastle’s unpopular chairman Freddy Shepherd seems determined to resist Mike Ashley’s takeover bid for Newcastle PLC. While most fans wish Shepherd would go away – gracefully – it is looking increasingly likely that Shepherd will resist the takeover.

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A Hagard Freddy Shepherd last Week

Shepherd’s prior reasoning that he would sell his shares if it was in the best interests of Newcastle is obviously being laid bare as blatantly untrue. Most fans already suspected that he would sell his shares only when it’s in his interests – not Newcastle’s.
Well placed sources have said that Shepherd is determined not to sell his 29.8% stake to Mike Ashley, the English Billionaire, who was at St. James’ Park last Thursday to pitch his plan to the Board and to visit Shepherd at Freeman Hospital in Jesmond.
Shepherd was said to be surprised, shocked and hurt by Sir John Hall’s decision to sell his 42 per cent holding to Ashley – but there’s been bad blood between the two of them for a number of years and Hall has not been too impressed with Shepherd as Chairman of Newcastle
There are definite rumors circulating in the city that other parties are interested in buying Newcastle PLC by buying out both Shepherd and Ashley. An analyst in the city was quoted as saying late last week:

“There have definitely been other enquiries into the club.
“Two foreign investors from the Far East have been in touch as they are interested in buying the club.
They are seriously rich. They are billionaires.”

The mystery billionaire quoted last week as willing to help Shepherd in his own attempt to keep control of Newcastle is Scotland’s richest man, Sir Tom Hunter, who is a close friend of Freddy’s. Only last month, Hunter was reported as being the first ever home-grown Billionaire in Scotland (Andrew Carnegie was presumably the first – but made in America). He is currently the richest individual in Scotland with wealth estimated at £1.05B.

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Scotland Billionaire Sir Tom Hunter

Mike Ashley is scheduled to meet Shepherd and the Newcastle Board this coming Tuesday – and it is being rumored that other shareholders will not accept Ashley’s offer of £1 per share (£133.1M) in total. While these takeover attempts hardly ever go smoothly – we hope that Shepherd understands the fans want Ashley to take over Newcastle.

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English Billionaire Mike Ashley


It would be good if Freddy – for once – considered the fan’s and Newcastle’s best interests – rather than his own.
That would be a very welcome change – but it’s something selfish Shepherd is probably unable or unwilling to do.

Comments appreciated.



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12 comments so far

  • Greg B

    Jun 3, 2007 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #1

    I think the time is right for Shepherd to sell up, I have lost faith with Shepherd over the last few years (appointing Souness was the writing on the wall for me) but from Fred’s point of view I would imagine its hard to sell something that means so much to you.
    While I am not a fan of Shepherd’s I honestly think there is no question of his love for the club. He is as desperate for success as much as the next Newcastle fan (however not all Newcastle fans take a big lump of cash from the club every year).
    Lets just hope he can see that Ashley has the cash and contacts to take this club forward and if Freddy loves the club as much as he says he does lets hope he lets it go.

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  • Soren

    Jun 3, 2007 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #2

    If Shepherd loves the club he’ll sell. This drag-out isn’t helping in signing the likes of Baines, Barton ect.

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  • Greg B

    Jun 3, 2007 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #3

    I imagine its like a girlfriend, you love her but know she will be happier with someone else. Its hard to let her go but ultimatley if you love her then her happiness is the most important thing.
    Hopefully Shepherd will realise Newcastle will be better off in Ashleys hands.

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  • Ian C

    Jun 3, 2007 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #4

    I was interested to hear that other share holders are refusing to sell their shares to Ashly for £1, as a share holder myself (limited holding) I have as yet not had contact with Ashly’s team. I would sell my holding to him for £1 per share because I can see the club going forward under him and being able to compete with the man u’s and chelsea’s of this world, but I would never sell my shares to shepard what ever the price.

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  • Shaun

    Jun 3, 2007 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #5

    Being a Newc fan I think Freddy should go and take Owen with him

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  • Ahmed Bilal

    Jun 3, 2007 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #6

    Am not so sure if people are in favour of Ashley taking over – it’s more a case of kicking FS out anyway possible and bringing in changes at the club.

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  • […] RSS ← Selfish Shepherd to Battle Ashley over Newcastle Takeover […]

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  • carl

    Jun 3, 2007 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #8

    we should get an online petition on the go and send it to st.james that we want shepherd out

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  • Phil

    Jun 3, 2007 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #9

    There are many Shepherd Out petitions doing the rounds. Newcastle’s Rivals.net page (www.talkofthetyne.com) has a thread called SHEPHERD OUT that has almost 2000 posts.

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 3, 2007 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #10

    Ahmed – that could be more accurate – fans are just sick of Freddy !

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  • Seb

    Jun 3, 2007 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #11

    Didn’t Shepherd want a Geordie Abramovich, isn’t this exactly what Mike Ashley is, as well as being a man who would pump money into the club?

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  • […] did report this week on a potential counter-bid from Freddy Shepherd and Scot Sir John Hunter – and even a […]

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