Former Chairman Freddy Shepherd Tries To Rewrite History


Mike Ashley and Chris Mort criticized the financials a lot when they first took over Newcastle United in May, 2007.

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Freddy Shepherd – taking his chance to rewrite history

And of course the individual who was pinpointed was former Chairman Freddy Shepherd, and Freddy is taking his opportunity today to blast Mike for taking the club down.

He’s doing it now while he has the chance because a Newcastle win on Sunday, will likely see the club survive, although that is looking increasingly unlikely.

Freddy Shepherd said today:

“Relegation would be an absolute disaster in terms of corporate and the crowd. It took us 12-15 years to get a big ground, a great academy and a good set of players. We left and all of a sudden there’s a disaster. And you can’t make a profit out of a disaster.”

“One thing that is really upsetting is the whingeing that is going on. They blame everyone but themselves. They have to look at themselves and say ‘what have we done wrong here’ and not start blaming other people. It annoys me that they seem to blame me all the time.”

“Every year we were there we made a profit. There is only one person to blame and that’s the guy who decides who is going to run the club.”  “Lots of people can buy football clubs but not many can run them. I think he is a great businessman for the sports retail side but as far as running a football club is concerned there is a lot left to be desired.”

“I would have had a new manager as soon as Joe Kinnear fell ill but then again I would never have picked Joe as manager.”   “If I was running the club they wouldn’t be in this position and I’m not trying to be big-headed.” “I don’t think anyone would disagree it was a shambles before Alan Shearer came in.”

“It would be sickening if we went down. It will be like climbing a mountain to get back to where we were from the Championship. That’s when you need experience to get back up, not people who have never been in a football club in their life before.”

This is Freddy attempting to rewrite history a little bit, but we know Freddy is first and foremost a Newcastle United fan, born and bred in Byker.

He will no doubt be devastated just like the rest of us on Sunday night.


55 comments so far

  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #1

    The equivalent of a convict lecturing a honest businessman on virtues

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  • ChrisToon1988

    May 19, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #2

    he an idiot but does make sense in a way 😀

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  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #3

    What Shephard says is true (ish)…..the club was never this badly run, no relegation threats, fewer (rather than none!) farsical situations, more team strengthening, more progress on and off field, more confidence about the future of the club under his tenure. he was not perfect, far from it, but it was never as bad a this. I can understand him speaking out, he has taken stick from fans and the Ashley regime over the last few years…..and he can sit back with the satisfaction of knowing he did a better job than this when he was at the club! Fair play to him!

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  • Rodzilla

    May 19, 2009 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #4

    Lads:

    LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

    Aston Villa v Newcastle
    3.00pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1 & HD1

    Hull v Manchester United
    4.00pm, Sun, Sky Sports 3 & HD3

    Sunderland v Chelsea
    4.00pm, Sun, Sky Sports 3
    (via the red button)

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  • Toon Sweden77

    May 19, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #5

    All of a sudden I wish that Freddy still was at the helm…. I feel teribble!

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  • Spitfire

    May 19, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #6

    The equivalent of a dodgy director lecturing a fraudster on virtues

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  • newcastle29

    May 19, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #7

    rozilla

    why you got us down at 3pm
    they are all 4pm k.o.

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  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #8

    ” Kev – he has taken stick from fans and the Ashley regime over the last few years…..and he can sit back with the satisfaction of knowing he did a better job than this when he was at the club! Fair play to him!”

    Oh yes – better than Ashley – he stole all of our past, present and future revenue into his own grubby pockets and the man who put the money back in the bank is pilloried. I am simply incredulous at your stupidity.

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  • neil

    May 19, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #9

    The program starts at 3pm but all ko’s are 4pm. Sky are showing highlights of the whole season on the channel we’re on. Doubt we will figure much in the “highlights” section

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  • Thump

    May 19, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #10

    newcastle29: 4pm kick off, but you have the pre match talk and suchlike where the teams are announced and compared etc.

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  • geordie jock

    May 19, 2009 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #11

    Freddie Shepherd might have his faults but at least he tried to make us successful which is a whole lot more than the fat B*****d who is supposed to be running our club is doing now. Make no mistake about it but we have probably got the worst set of useless overpaid players ever to wear the strip. Regardless of wether we get relegated or by an undeserved miracle Ashley has to go along with the majority of the 1s team squad. We need proper owners who will care about the team and supporters with a long term plan to gradually get us where we want to be. Finally a big thankyou to Mike Ashley for destroying a great football club and ripping out the hearts of many a Newcastle Utd supporter. NUFC R.I.P>

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  • workyticket

    May 19, 2009 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #12

    “Every year we were there we made a profit.”

    That’s another lie Freddy.

    http://www.nufc-finances.org.uk/

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  • Spitfire

    May 19, 2009 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #13

    Worky

    I think he’ll mean him and Douglas Hall, not the club

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  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #14

    Worky – maybe he meant “Every year I took every penny the club ever had or was to have in the future”

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  • Spitfire

    May 19, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #15

    Oh yes like geordiejock can I just record my thanks to Ashley too

    NUFC RIP

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  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #16

    Stadust – your wrong mate….the club was a PLC with Freddie Shephard as a executive director, he took a salary, and (large) dividend, but that was it, the profited from selling his 27% shares to Mike Ashley, but then again so did EVERY shareholder who has put their money into the club when it was floated in 1997.

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  • batty

    May 19, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #17

    Spitfire // May 19, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    Oh yes like geordiejock can I just record my thanks to Ashley too

    NUFC RIP
    <<<<<b0llocks there will always be a newcastle united what ever division were in newcastle united will out live all of us

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  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #18

    Also Stardust – I think you need to review your Mike Ashley is hollier than thou attitude towards paying off the clubs debts – HE HAD TO, as part of the sale of the club there was a clause that he had to pay off the mortgage that the previous regime had taken out to pay for transfers and such like over the years – Freddie Shephard re-financed the club in 2001 taking out a mortgage which covered the extension of the ground, and added to this mortgage when making the larger of the transfers over the years……the mortgage repayments were covered by the income of the club, i.e. season tickets and TV revenues, the clubs finances were stable but were in debt (i.e. like Man Utd, Liverpool etc are now) with the debt being managed with the bank. The financing was taken out against Newcastle United Football club PLC, which ceased to exist when Mike Ashley bought the club outright and took us out of the stockmarket, putting an end to our PLC status – from a business point of view this change in status invalided out loans with the banks so he was forced to settle the debts….the fact he didn’t do his homework in this area proves what an idiot Ashley is – that and his decision to clear the debt in one swoop rather than re-financing the debt – as this decision took out all of our power in the transfer market in one go, i.e. he spent all the money he was prepared to pay off a debt that he did not have to repay in one go – had he financed the debt the many, many million he paid off in one go could have been made available to his managers for strengthening the team!!!! Does my stupidity still exasperate you! You utter tw@t…why believe Mr Ashley??? He has sold us up the river….the only reason he would clear the debt in one go is, 1) a debt free club is a more saleable asset for him, i.e. he intended to sell us on from day one, and 2) he has no intention of making anything like a reasonable amount of money available for transfers !!!!! ASHLEY OUT!

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  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #19

    Kev

    Dont lecture me about what you dont understand.

    Revenue was front loaded. i.e. money that was due over years to come was taken into the accounts on day 1.

    Thereon payments were spread – for instance – Ashley ended up paying for Owen!

    Thereon that mechanism was used to pay dividends.

    There was no money left to pay for players or the ones we had – why on earth do you think the Halls sold out – we were technically insolvent.

    Like I said – a lack of understanding and passion = destruction, in this case yours of our club.

    So please before you gain an opinion find out the reality first.

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  • batty

    May 19, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #20

    kevheslop yeah what stardust sed so get used to it were skint lol

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  • Macas

    May 19, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #21

    Shepherd made a lot of mistakes at Newcastle, but since Ashley took over we have been in 2 dire relegation struggles, now what does that tell you? Yes we needed to get the costs down at the club, but to do that at the expense of the team was a catastrophic mistake. Change needs to take place gradually, and to sell players from a small squad and then not bring enough new ones in is madness. Relegation will cost Ashley a lot more than if he had invested in £15-£20M worth of new players over the season.

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  • Macas

    May 19, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #22

    Stardust – Ashley might have still been paying for the transfer of Owen, but that’s how football works. It was also reported that we were due more money from players we were sold than we had to still pay out for players we had bought!

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  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #23

    So your saying that Ashley could not have re-financed the situation? Did he not have options? Could have not have taken an approach like Gillet, Crozier etc. ? Of course he could!!! He took this approach for his own reasons! He has been preparing the books for a re-sale since he took over! It is plain to see ….. this was not his only option, it was the option he chose, for his own good, not for the progression of the team or the club! I understand it Stardust….I also understand why he chose this particular route….except it has backfired on him, he cannot sell at a price to get his money back or make a profit because his gamble failed, the lack of transfer funds weakened the team more than he estimated and the club has fallen drastically, he didn’t account for it – his gamble failed, and don’t forget who or what he is, a chancer and gambler!!!

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  • Macas

    May 19, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #24

    *we had sold

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  • Mag 48

    May 19, 2009 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #25

    It looks like human nature to me.Ashley blamed Shepherd for all the ills so now its Shepherds turn to have a Nah Nah! told you so moment.
    Either way the club suffers and that means us or should I say you as I decided last year this would be my last season.Whoever you blame and I have my own ideas I can’t see it improving we’ve gone from contesting the top four to what I think will be joining the likes of Leicester City,Nottingham Forest Leeds and Charlton etc
    For the record its Ashley I blame all the decisions and the reactions to those decisions can be laid at his door!

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  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #26

    All I say folk – as Worky posted – nufc-finances.org.uk has highlighted the reasons behind everything for years, if you wont listen to us, please spend a few k and get an accountant to go through it with you – playschool style. Then you might understand the mess we were in.

    As for Kev Hislop – he recommends a refinance deal al la Liverpool and Man U – both clubs facilities run out this year- with no money in the pot for such highly geared buyouts within any bank.

    The Leverage buyout is dead at the mo – Man U and liverpool are up the creek without the proverbial – but hey – why do you want to hear that – it doesnt fit with your skewed version of the truth. A little knowledge is such a dangerous thing.

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  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #27

    Stardust – what a joke! You are the living proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing – you can only read the facts presented to you in one way – 1. Mike Ashley has done a great job under difficult circumstances and was correct not to consider use of re-finance options on the clubs debt.

    You also mock my link to Man Utd and Liverpools finances – fat lot of harm it is doing them!!! And you reckon that they are close to fianancial meltdown? Really? Nonsense….nonsense Stardust….they are not. The have used this method of club financing in order to compete at the highest level of the sport with on the pitch success at the forefront of their business plan – whereas Mike Ashley has done it another way – only time will tell who was right!!!!

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  • shearerbliss

    May 19, 2009 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #28

    Kev as I do not want to inflame the argument but I think MA has done it the right way financally! My point is the previou regime would have bankrupted us in this current climate make now bones about that. Man Utd and Liverpool are in serious trouble if they can not raise the cash this year and with AIG going top the wall this could become a serious issue in football, hence why Platini is stating that if evry club runs there finances like the big 2 it would spiral out of control.
    MA mistake was getting rid of BS, if he wanted a cheat team. KK and AS will need money to get th best out of a team not shear management ability. The best managers work within there budget and get the best out f what they got. Can you honestly blame MA for the team we have now with there pay that they are not good enough to stay up. Rubbish!

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  • workyticket

    May 19, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #29

    Stardust,

    Were you serious about what you were writing in another ‘blog?

    “Even been thinking if Ed goes of starting a blog – have found a community system that operates like Facebook etc, costs around £2.00 per person per month to run, can see loads of potential in it – I would pay for it but not sure loads of others would.”

    If so, I’m a professional web designer who knows lots of options for an alternative to this site if or when it goes offline, and I also have the skills required to build very successful sites and online communities. I would be very interested in collaborating if you were serious about it?

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  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #30

    Kev “Does my stupidity still exasperate you! You utter tw@t…why believe Mr Ashley?”

    In that one statement you highlight your ignorance – and within your argument you fail to realise the significance of the danger of leveraged buyouts – particularly at this time.

    The lies you spout re the debt not being able to be renamed is simply that. A LIE to try and regain soem credibility.

    Companies all over the world are reconfigured every day, groups are broken up and reassembled in new jurisdictions, and believe it or not, banks, business owners and corporate financiers are very able to restructure debt.

    The club have made statements already about why the mortgage was cleared – it was simply a poor deal – Ashley paid off the debt so the club wasn’t leaking cash and put it in as a directors loan for the good of the club – and it would allow him to get his money back without being hit with cap gains tax on sale of the club.

    Every point you make – simply makes you appear what you rally are – a misinformed fool.

    I wont stoop to your language as I would be as low as you – a gutter snipe of a fool who obviously has achieved very little in life.

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  • Rodzilla

    May 19, 2009 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #31

    Worky

    “I’m a professional web designer who knows lots of options for an alternative to this site”

    I had a hunch, me too mate. Although I’m a Graphic Designer by profession and spent more time involved in Corporate ID and printed media, I’ve spent the last 4 or 5 years mainly in web. I don’t program, but design sites for the coders I work with to build.

    ….I could chuck in my two penneth if needed.

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  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #32

    Worky – that’s what I meant a few weeks ago when I said I wanted to chat with you about something

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  • workyticket

    May 19, 2009 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #33

    Stardust, Rod etc

    Why don’t we all get together then and see if we can work something out then?

    My public e.mail (the one I throw out willy nilly online) is zon@zonicweb.net

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  • Macas

    May 19, 2009 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #34

    Anyone who thinks Ashley has made the right decisions financially needs to wake up to the financial disaster that is relegation.

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  • shearerbliss

    May 19, 2009 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #35

    macas MA is not in the changing room with the players! I have not heard one player come out and say we were not paid ths week! Your argument has no substance.

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  • Macas

    May 19, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #36

    Shearerbliss – My argument has no substance? Are we or are we not on the brink of relegation? The point I’m making, and the point Keegan, Kinnear and Shearer have also made, is that the squad is simply not big enough or good enough. What is the point in clearing off the debt if we get relegated and lose £50 million and all our best players??? We have an unbalanced squad short on creativity and pace, and lacking in numbers in vital areas. The man holding the purse strings is Ashley, and he stupidly thought he could sell players and either buy in cheap rubbish to replace them or just not replace them at all. I think my argument is extremely valid since we are likely to be playing in the Championship next season.

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  • Rodzilla

    May 19, 2009 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #37

    I’ll chuck you an email when I get back from worky, work.

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  • shearerbliss

    May 19, 2009 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #38

    What I am saying is that what does MA have to do with sub standard performances. Over the past few weeks the players have not pulled their finger out and get us out of this mess. Is MA at fault for joey barton rash challange, MO and Oba missing sitters, rubbish defending by colo. My answer is no!
    Yes he may have tried to do the common sense thing and keep the club afloat financially but as the previous blog said would AS not play for a groin strain on 100+ a week! Please
    In my OPINION the blame lies squarelyt with the players and their poor performances. MA has spent money over the last 3 windows hasn’t he. As SBR said in his article MA is unlucky becase he TRUSTED the wrong people. Money is not why we are in this position!

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  • Macas

    May 19, 2009 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #39

    Ashley isn’t unlucky, he’s foolish and naive when it comes to football, there’s a big difference. He has been told by every manager at the club that the squad isn’t big enough or good enough, so is he unlucky to have not spent money and found himself in this mess, or foolish?
    The small squad that we have is unbalanced, with no creative midfielders and not much pace. It’s not lack of effort from the players, as has been obvious from the games we have played, it’s just the fact that we don’t have enough quality in certain areas. Ashley cashed in once again in January and didn’t allow Kinnear to bring in any decent players, but his smug grin is disappearing fast as are our chances of stopping up.
    As for Shearer playing on, he has missed plenty games through injury, so don’t be sucked in by Ed’s veiled and unfounded attack on Owen as we quite simply don’t know the facts surrounding the injury. Or are you going to slag off Enrique and Beye as well?
    If you believe Ashley has spent enough money then you are quite simply deluded, as we have not spent anywhere near as much as was needed to correct the problems in the squad.
    He has gambled and failed miserably, as the majority of fans who watch the games regularly knew he would.

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  • ian

    May 19, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #40

    Stardust I cannot believe you are still defending Ashley, the club has never been in such a mess.

    Ashley had the means when he bought the club and dismantled it, Shepherd and Co had the right ideas to get the club to the top but ran out of the means as premiership football became too expensive for them.

    If we go down it will cost an absolute fortune, if we stay up all of the player value is lost out of the team, I dread to think what player investment is needed now just to secure a place 4 or 5 from the relegation zone, a striker £10m for Cisse anyone better and you will be looking up to £18m that would go to our club, three midfielders of any quality nothing short of £30m, it isnt in any better shape, the loan is to Ashley and the family silver has been sold, plus no improvements anywhere have been made, ie no expense in the stadium etc.

    It is a total shambles and when he got the club it had a decent team with a sensible couple of sales and purchases would have been mid table and no less under a decent manager.

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