Ashley Sacks Newcastle Board But Shepherd Stays


Mike Ashley – Newcastle’s new owner has sent a letter to each of the Newcastle Board members requesting their resignation. When someone takes over a company it is usual for them to put in their own board to help run the club – so while this is being sensationalized in the press – it is certainly not unusual.

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Newcastle Owner Mike Ashley

The existing board consists of Freddy Shepherd, Bruce Shepherd, Douglas Hall, Tim Revill and Allison Antonopoulos, plus company secretary Russell Cushing. However, it is being reported in the Sunday Sun that Chairman Freddy Shepherd is the only one who will be retained – and that is at Mike Ashley’s request as Shepherd offered to resign also.

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Chairman Freddy Shepherd

A Mike Ashley insider told the Sunday Sun yesterday:

“Mike Ashley and his team want Freddy Shepherd to stay, and he is staying,” “There is a board meeting on Monday – probably at St James’s Park – where the board, excluding Freddy Shepherd, will step down and the new board will be appointed.

“Ashley won’t be there, but everything is agreed. Four directors will resign after being told by him that he wanted to bring in his own team.” “Freddy Shepherd felt it might be the appropriate time to end his 16-year association with the club, what with his brother Bruce and friend Douglas Hall both resigning, and his recent illness. “But Ashley felt that Shepherd’s experience and knowledge of the club was indispensable as it enters a period of transition.

“Every business needs continuity, and Shepherd is the man who has a strong personal relationship with the club’s sponsors and backers – and therefore their loyalty – as well as contacts within football itself. “Shepherd is now looking forward to working with the new owner and is optimistic that Ashley can move Newcastle forward.”

Mike Ashley has not been impressed with the release clauses in Michael Owen’s and Oba Martin’s contracts. It was also revealed that Shepherd and Douglas Hall appear to have two year out clauses in their contracts – that once dismissed they will serve for two years at their current salaries. This is ridiculous and self serving and not good for the club. How the board allowed this is beyond us (until you look who is on the board).

However it appears – like a good businessman – Ashley wants continuity at the club and he sees that in the form of Freddy Shepherd.

Newcastle United Football Club has not been successful for a long long time – as we all know and are constantly reminded of. We are still seeking our first trophy since 1969 and first home trophy since the 1955 Cup Final – when we took Manchester City apart 3-1 and Jackie Milburn scored (with a header!) in the first minute.

We have a real suspicion (and hope) that the club will now be run a lot more professionally under Ashley – and don’t be surprised if the executive asked to complete an investigation into the running of the club is announced as one of the new board members. Shepherd may be retained as the Chief CEO – a post Shepherd would favor – and we expect the new executive’s appointment to be made shortly – some time next week.

Since Mike Ashley took over we believe he has been doing the exact right things for Newcastle United – and we are also sure with Sam Allardyce’s help – that he will continue that way ending up with a trophy that every Newcastle fan will enjoy like nothing else. Roll on the start of the season.

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10 comments so far

  • Bev

    Jun 24, 2007 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #1

    This is mostly excellent news, hopefully ffs will just be kept on until the new board members get an idea of how not to run a football club!!!

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 24, 2007 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #2

    Bev – appropriate comment !

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  • Ben

    Jun 24, 2007 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #3

    good times are coming to newcastle … well i hope they are anyway!!

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  • […] resign. Only Freddy Shepherd will be retained to offer some continuity at the club. We run our own piece on this and basically it is good news – although a number of fans will be disappointed that […]

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  • Gateshead Glenn

    Jun 24, 2007 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #5

    My only disappointment so far with the Ashley take-over is that he hasn’t got rid of Shepherd yet. Maybe he agreed to keep him on as a ‘sweetener’ when he bought his shares. Hopefully this is just a very short-term arrangement or Ashleys judgement and credibility will be put in doubt.

    Shepherd is still ‘tainted’ in many fans eyes. He will never shake-off his reputation as being a big-mouth of dubious integrity/honesty,e.g. the News of the World ‘sting’ + Man. Utd. are ‘a rudderless ship’ + ‘Owen has no get-out clause’ !! Shepherd’s judgement has also ben poor in terms of selecting managers and then firing them, usually at the worst time possible.

    Why not let him stay-on as just another Honarary (Vice-?!) President? Better still, let him have a free season-ticket for life but on Level 7 (with no lift-pass!) so he can still attend games, like the ‘true fan’ he says he is!?

    If Ashley really does want / need someone from the old, failed regime to provide some continuity, then I would suggest some-one like Russel Cushing’s a better, safer bet. At least he’ a well-respected administrator who knows the club inside-out.

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 24, 2007 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #6

    Think Russell Cushing is good – and he may even be given a new position in the club set up – it’s kind of customary to ask all board members to resign – so new owner has clean sweep. We were thinking Shepherd would go quickly – but i guess not.

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  • […] resign. Only Freddy Shepherd will be retained to offer some continuity at the club. We run our own piece on this and basically it is good news – although a number of fans will be disappointed that […]

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  • Keep Oba

    Jun 24, 2007 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #8

    Let Shepherd keep his clause where he can stay for two years for 500k or whatever…let him sit in a box if he wants, and keep a silly fake title, but dont let him touch anything or anyone concerning the club. Never let him see another Newcastle contract again.

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  • […] resign. Only Freddy Shepherd will be retained to offer some continuity at the club. We run our own piece on this and basically it is good news – although a number of fans will be disappointed that […]

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  • valle

    Jun 24, 2007 at 9:34 PM

    Comment #10

    Well, im one of the ppl who have been crying out for a new board for the last couple of years. But i must say that it makes sense to keep FFS on for now. Ashley still needs to get into the rhytm of things and FFS do know the club inside out. Also i cant imagine FFS having any executive powers, so his stupid mistakes should be eliminated.

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