Shepherd Slams Owen For Lack Of Newcastle Loyalty

Former Newcastle Chairman Freddy Shepherd has issued a reminder to England striker Michael Owen, that he owes the Newcastle United Football club big time, for all they have done for him over the last three and a half years.


Freddy Shepherd – Owen owes Newcastle big time

Freddy talked to the Daily Express this morning and said:

“The fans are not bothered about pay-cuts or anything like that,” “They are interested in seeing Michael Owen and they have not seen enough of him.”

“He has been injured a lot of the time since I signed him and he has barely played one in four games that he could have done had he been fit. He owes Newcastle another year.”

“He should remember what the club did for him, especially after his World Cup injury in 2006 in Germany. We looked after him and ensured he had the best care for the next year.”

“ I personally went to Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president, and as a result we got the international insurance changed to cover not just £50,000 of a player’s wages but £100,000.”

“Michael won’t want to hear what I am saying but that’s the way it is. They say there is no loyalty in football any more but this is an extreme case.”

“He has been very well paid, handsomely paid, for four years and there should be some return for Newcastle. There should at least be a thread of loyalty.”

“Morally, Michael Owen owes Newcastle another year.”

Newcastle have played around 162 games since Michael arrived at the club on August 31st, 2005, in front of almost 25,000 fans who packed St. James’ Park for an event that was shown on TV and reported around the world, as an indication of fan loyalty.

25,000 at the ground and it wasn’t even a game!

But Michael has started in only 52 of those games (63 appearances) and scored just 29 goals, which has cost the club around £1.3M for every goal he’s scored.

That’s terrible value by anybody’s measure, and while it hasn’t been Michael’s fault, they are still the facts, and if he doesn’t sign for Newcastle in the summer, his deal on Tyneside will represent one of the worst returns on an investment by a club in football history, that’s for sure.

We don’t expect Michael to stay at Newcastle, once he gets offers next month, he may even sign a pre-contract agreement with some other club.

If Newcastle United are smart, they’ll be planning for life without Michael next month, and it’s the old cliche – we just don’t want any players who don’t want to play at Newcastle.

Why? Because there are plenty of players who are honored to wear the black and white shirt, and since we now have a manager who’s more than proud to be at this famous club, why would he want players who are not just as loyal and passionate, including his captain?

The Newcastle club comes first, and is much more important than any one player.

Comments welcome.

31 comments so far

  • tom tomb

    Dec 24, 2008 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #1

    Totally disloyal YES! , but on the other hand- New Owner? New Chairman? New Manager? A late contract offer! They have played right into the greedy little tw–s hands.

  • Rich

    Dec 24, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #2

    bar humbug.

  • steve

    Dec 24, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #3

    Pathetic – FFS should shut his face, he was possibly Newcastles worst chairman (inc: Llambias)
    Why should Owen remain loyal with the farcical ongoings at the club.
    I imagine he’ll want to end his career by winning something and that hardly looks likely at the toon at the mo.
    I’m not sure he’s going to go anyway unless one of big four (and maybe villa) come in for him and that looks unlikely at the moment

  • JonnyNUFC

    Dec 24, 2008 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #4

    This is ridiculous, why are people getting down on Owen.

    In no way does that benefit us atall.

    Even if he does go, we have the rest of the season in which he can help us finish higher up the table and get in a position where we’ll be able to bring in quality replacements IF he does go.

    All this planning for life without michael etc is nonsense, he’s our leading scorer & we will not be able to find a good enough replacement for him any time soon hes a natural born goalscorer. His movement is 2nd to none. He misses chances that other fowards wouldnt find in the first place.

    I can only see two clubs that he COULD go to. Man city and tottenham. If we finish above both of them & show our squad as having more potential than those teams why would he leave ??
    The top 4 wont go in for him…other teams wont give him his wages.
    He just wants to be at a club with a lot of potential, not a side fighting relegation -( its Michael Owen…can you blame him??) If we continue to improve this season that could/should be us…but this negative bs aint helping us is it.

  • sirjasontoon

    Dec 24, 2008 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #5

    Disappointed with Owen..ship the little 5hitbag out in january,take his captains armband off him as well…a captain should be committed 100% and setting an example to other players.

  • JonnyNUFC

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #6

    To all you who want Owen gone…

    Please explain who we can replace him with ??

    We have barely ANY creative midfield players and we still score in near every match. What do you think this is down to??

    Yet a player with the status of Michael Owen one of England best fowards in recent years says he wants to consider his options at a club who have been fighting relegation for 2 seasons in a row and he’s evil suddenly???

    We cannot replace him any time soon. We’re a side whos happy that we’re now JUST mid table…no quality strikers will join us any time soon. The fact we have Owen at our club atm is a miracle…the fact he doesnt want to leave in January is a big plus for us.

    Wake up to the situation.

  • Spyro

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #7

    go away FFS, just go away.

    The Journal have published an article about N’Zogbia with the headline, “Winger Does Want to Leave”. They are clearly trying to fool readers that they have some form of extra proof of the story. However, upon opening and reading the article you will notice that it is the exact same story and quotes from yesterdays news. Poor, poor journalism.

  • Toon Graeme

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #8

    I think we all expected this in the news!

    Owen aint arsed about article like this. Many more before he decides what to do so lets get used to it and jump through hoops when he scores on Friday!

  • JonnyNUFC

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #9

    Central midfield****

  • The Entertainers

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #10

    And this is why FFS was a useless chairman.

    This doesnt help and i dont blame Owen for waiting.

    Look if come the summer, we’re settled on ALL fronts and we’re playing as well as we are now, if not better and he still leaves, then i will be the first to be critical towards him.

    Until then, this type of bad mouthing only helps the rags.

    Freddy you had a habit of saying the wrong things as chairman and i see you still cant help your self.

  • Ian

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #11

    Newcastle should go in for Cisse now, try and start negotiating a deal for him to come to us in the summer, try and get a precontract agreement then just leave Owen to do what he wants.
    We may as well go out and try and secure a good player now, otherwise Owen and any other striker we want will hold all of the cards in the Summer.

    As I have said before we should try and do a deal with one of or two of our strikers, Xisco, Smith or Carrol for Dave Kitson this January window, then if we fail to land a top level striker next summer we still have a proven goalscorer, if we do land someone we have excellent back up in the form of Kitson and Ameobi which is better than a lot of other clubs.

    We need to get control of this striker situation the club has allowed itself to get in to this stupid situation, I as I said at the time would have offered Owen a contract before last summers window and if he didnt take it I would have signed Cisse and let Owen go for buttons.
    I dont think we can sell Owen in January as I cant see anyone that is worth signing or our club paying over the top for someone, so we may as well keep him till the Summer.

  • wsq

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #12

    Shut up sheppard!

  • bowburnmag

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #13

    Ed – “But Michael has started in only 52 of those games (63 appearances) and scored just 29 goals”. Surely the “just” should go before the appearances rather than the goals to emphasise your point? Almost a goal every other game isn’t a bad return in fairness, is it?

  • lloydie780

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #14

    I actually think Shepherd was coorect and it is a good statement. Nad i feel Shepherd is/was better than Lambias and would happily have him obve Lambias, he may have brought substantial debt but that was due to our own demand and craving for success which required large sums of money and we had to get the money somehow. I do agree he made mistakes and was poor in parts but i agree with this statement, someone needed to say it despite the obvious.

  • bowburnmag

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #15

    Sheperd might well be a Mag through and through and love the club but he’s a moron. He should wind his neck in. There really is no loyalty in football anymore for the majority. We got Owen back to fitness for our own reasons and paid his wages because we signed a contract stating we would. To say he owes us is nonsense. If he wants to stick around and he’s up for it, great. There are no better strikers/captains out there available to us. If he doesn’t he moves on and someone else comes in because I agree we don’t players who wish to be elsewhere. But Owen hasn’t said that yet (who could really blame him given the circumstances if he wanted to leave?). Let’s not get all hypothetical again. I made the same mistake myself yesterday talking about Charlie and the chances are it’s a re-surfaced and unsubstantiated story.

  • Bosck

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #16

    Ed, I think your wrong on that front.

    I actually expect Owen will stay, and whilst I am a bit disappointed he did not sign this week, I would do exactly the same in his position.

    He has stated he is happy here, but he needs to see where we will be at the end of the season and what the set up is. It basically comes down to 2 situations:

    a) If we finish in a respectable position in the table, well safe from relegation, chris mort has come back as chairman (or other suitable replacement for llambias), mike Ashley has decided not to sell and looks to invest at least some money (not necessarily huge sums), JK and DW’s roles are clearly defined and DW just continues to bring in quality scouting possibilities…. then I am certain Owen will sign.

    b) we do not make any decent (not in terms of our immediate opinion but in terms of performance for the rest of the season eg Guthrie) signings in January, MA is still looking to sell, no new chairman has been put in place, some of the fans still remain away from SJP, we struggle to survive / get relegated… then owen will go.

    As for believing Owen will sign a pre contract agreement in January, that clearly aint gonna happen. He has come out and specifically said he will wait till the summer to consider his options, so he would be shown to be a liar if he then signed a pre contract in january. Whatever you may think of Owen i think he is an honourable bloke and wouldnt go back on his word.

  • Isaac Hunt

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #17

    Johny @ 4: “The top 4 wont go in for him…other teams wont give him his wages.
    He just wants to be at a club with a lot of potential, not a side fighting relegation”

    He only wants the money – the little waster!


    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #18

    Just wait and see, I’m not completely sure if he really will go in summer. My feeling still is he rather stays here…we’ll see!

    It will be very VERY expensive to replace him! Eto would be wonderfull together with Martins up front, but these are just dreams, we never get him unfortunately, so I would prefer Owen to stay.

  • steve

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #19

    I think You’ll fine England paid Owen wages for a season while he was out injured, FFS is just jumping on the bandwagon to give himself publicity.

    Elfer – spot on mate, no decent striker wil join us and Ashley has already said he wont spend to much cash, people keep coming up with wishlists that are far and beyond toons capability to buy / persuade to join.

    Owen has said he wants to wait till end of season in order he can review and I think this is fairly sensible of him. If he can’t see any improvement in the toon situation regarding sale/management/likelihood of winning something etc then he’ll no doubt be off – it’s down to the toon to rectify these things not Owen

  • Gateshead Mag.

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #20

    Lads, Freddy Shepard is right in what he’s saying. Sorry but he is.

  • Tore Torell

    Dec 24, 2008 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #21

    Couldn’t agree more with Fat Fred.

    Owen should be ashamed with himself, if he turns up in Newcastle I’d tuck him into the Tyne River.

  • Nick

    Dec 24, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #22

    Very rich coming from the sleazy crook who bought the club to it’s knees.

  • Brettoon

    Dec 24, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #23

    For those people who are moaning about Owen… SHUT THE HELL UP.

    How is that gonna help us with keeping him in the summer! Stupid fickle people.

    He’s got every right to wait till the summer to see if things with the board have become more stable!

  • Ian

    Dec 24, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #24

    who wants to keep him more like??

    he could easily sign up for a year and make a killing, I think there are plans behind the scenes and he already thinks he knows where he is going, but the lad isnt stupid when it comes to making money, he will keep as many options open as possible.

    The amount of goals a striker scores is only part of the story, it is also how many games he is available for especially of the club suffers with a top striker down, also how many assists he provides and also how many goals are conceded while he plays.

    The likes of Martins, Cisse and Bellamy are a lot of trouble on the counter, the opposite team has to keep players back, at least two as a defense against that type of player, which means they opposition usually stays back in their half more with those types of player on the pitch and this stops them surrounding our goal mouth with loads of players as much.

    No one doubts Owen’s ability, the trouble is he will only be at his best in three or four teams in the premiership and I do not think any of them will want him. He needs an excellent midfield to show his real ability.

    There are many players who score the number of goals that Owen has scored for us per season without going top tier, it depends if you look at goals per season or goals per appearance, plus remember when Owen is on the pitch he is usually in the top scoring position so in his appearances he should score the most goals, everyone is trying to get the ball to him 80% of the time.

  • neeraj

    Dec 24, 2008 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #25

    owen signed 3 and a half yrs back coz we were the best team out of top 4 and the money was good…..

    a lot has changed during this time….

    the money and length of contract is the best he can get right now…. but we are no where near 5th……

    i still would have liked if he would have cleared the air, a month ago…..
    he is just weighing his options and prob. man city is top of his list, coz money is good also they would be challenging for something next year….

    do not let him go in jan, his goal would be imp…..

  • rooks

    Dec 24, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #26

    “his deal on Tyneside will represent one of the worst returns on an investment by a club in football history”

    hardly Ed, nothing like a bit of hyperbole to get the turkey juices flowing…

  • T-Nem

    Dec 24, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #27

    Shut up Freddy, you fat sh*t

  • T-Nem

    Dec 24, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #28

    worst return on history…..LUQUE

  • seetow

    Dec 24, 2008 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #29

    i for one will be honoured to play in the black and white. sign me up! what’s more, i can play with both feet! 😉


    Dec 24, 2008 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #30

    I’m no Shepherd fan,but the blokes got it spot on this time.
    Doesnt matter what anyone says,Owens owes “THE TOON” big time after all the cash us lot have put in his pocket,for very little return.
    Showing a little bit loyality to the club and is the least he can do.
    Unfortunately this ain’t going to happen.
    If he can squeeze another few grand out of some other club to add to his millions he’ll do it!!!!

    Far to much player power these days!!!

  • craig chisholm

    Dec 24, 2008 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #31

    sirjasontoon……… do propoase we sell him then?? owen will not agree to any move now and thats a fact. he is into a bosman in just 7 days time. he is not going to let us sell him so WE can make money when he can go himself anyway and HE gets all the money. owen holds all the cards and this is ashleys fault. every manager we have had – and there have been about 500 since ashley came in have been saying tie him down NOW. instead we dick around until its too late. anyone of us would probably be douing the same thing. he wants to play for a club with ambition, he deserves it. he is englands best. lets just enjoy these last few months with him.


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