Shepherd Ponders His Position – Rozehnal Almost Newcastle Player

The reclusive and shy Mike Ashley was not at yesterday’s board meeting at St. James’ Park but his new organization and ambitions for Newcastle United were presented at length by his team.

Chairman Freddy Shepherd was there and still has to formally accept the position being offered by Ashley – and his acceptance may not be the foregone conclusion that most people had thought.


Freddy Shepherd

Since his illness when the Ashley takeover happened – his wife, Lorelle, has indicated in public that she would prefer her husband to step aside. A final decision is near and should be announced in a statement to the stock market today.

Ashley’s arrival has not so far had any positive effect in the transfer market for Newcastle United – and Sam Allardyce is still seen to be struggling to bring in much needed reinforcements. A source close to the sportswear tycoon said yesterday:

“The guy is someone who wants to build the biggest and the best and be successful”

Well – we’re all for that and on a positive note we will sign center half David Rozehnal tomorrow – in a £3M transfer from Paris Saint-Germain to Newcastle. David completed a medical last night. That means Sam will have acquired Joey Barton ( £5.8M), Mark Viduka (free) and Rozehnal for a net outlay of only £1.8M since he sold Scott Parker to West Ham for £7M.

The 6′ 3″ Czech Republic defender has agreed personal terms on a four-year contract and the 26-year-old central defender will be presented at a press conference at St. James’ Park this afternoon. We can only hope that Sam can bring in a couple of new defenders this week – but that is looking to be a rather difficult task as things stand.

Comments always welcome.

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6 comments so far

  • Cicero

    Jun 26, 2007 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #1

    Well hopefully now that we have a new board and management team (with or without FFS) Big Sam can now start picking up the pace in bringing in new faces both on and off the field. The old brigade probably couldn’t sanction any appointment to the coaching staff until Ashley’s plans were unveiled and the size of the transfer kitty determined although that might not be totally available until the NUFC is de-listed from the stock exchange. Mike Ashley’s offer to the shareholders end this Thursday and he should have over the required 90% by then.

    As far as FFS is concerned I can’t see him not taking some kind of role at least in the short term. It’s probably a good thing from a business point of view as Ashley’s going to press ahead with the ground enlargement and hotel and leisure complex and FFS has been heavily involved. There are probably a whole load of other projects going on like sponsorship and retail that he’s involved in and their needs to be a smooth transition. However, I think his role in transfers and football matters will be minimal from now on.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 26, 2007 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #2

    Cicero – excellent comment – think you are right about the role of Shepherd being reduced – and think he knows it – which is why there is a chance he may leave – but agree the odds are on him staying. For 6 months to a year – it would be best for the club – and that’s the way Shepherd should be thinking about it.
    The ground expansion and other projects – probably still to be announced – are very exciting for us fans. 😀

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 26, 2007 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #3

    There should also be news today on Shepherd’s role – maybe who the new Directors are – and the eventual signing of David Rozehnal. So progress is being made – though transfers are going too slowly – as Allardyce will attest to.

  • Cicero

    Jun 26, 2007 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #4

    Mike Ashley is supposedly very friendly with David Dean (ex gooner) I wonder if he has advised him on the shape and personnel for the new board. One thing is for sure they will all be professional business people with commercial savvy, not like the bunch going out who didn’t do much for their grossly inflated salaries.

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