Will £60M Shepherd Bid Be Accepted By Mike Ashley?

BBC Sport is reporting that former Newcastle United Chairman Freddy Shepherd is heading a consortium that is about to launch a £60M bid for the Newcastle club.


Freddy Shepherd – bid for Newcastle – but the price seems very low

If the bid is successful it’s not surprising to hear the news that Alan Shearer has already been lined up to become the long-term manager at the club. Newcastle of course were relegated from the Premier League last May 24th, a short 5 weeks ago, for the first time in their history. And it was 20 years ago that the club were last relegated.

The Shepherd offer, if true, seems really low, based on Mike Ashley wanting £100M, and that itself was about one third of what he was asking for the club only last December.

However, the BBC is reporting that Shepherd’s offer is likely to be accepted.

Shepherd sold his Newcastle United shares to current owner Mike Ashley two years ago as part of a £134M deal for the club, and it all happened while Shepherd was sick, but once the Hall family sold their shares, there wasn’t much Freddy could do about it at that time. As one would expect Freddy was not too happy at the sale of his shares, even though he got a good price on them.

If this news is true, Ashley stands to lose a lot of money, since his total investment in the club is around £244M, so he stands to lose around £184M in just two years, and that’s hardly a good deal for anybody.

We will be surprised if this low bid is accepted by Ashley, and only yesterday there was news that Keith Harris, Chairman of Seymour Pierce Bank, who are charged with selling the club, was in America on business related to the sale.

And Shepherd isn’t exactly adored by Newcastle fans, as he has made more than one misstep while Chairman of Newcastle from December, 1997, when he took over from John Hall, and was Chairman until two years ago, when Ashley bought the club.

Today is the last day of the month, and Harris had said he expected a deal by the end of the month, and certainly with Freddy in as Chairman he would work closely with Shearer in the short term to right the club.

The two of them would work well together, and do whatever is necessary to ensure the club has the very best chance of being promoted back to the Premier League at it’s first attempt next season.

But longer term, one has to wonder whether the trials and tribulations that have dogged the Tyneside club for many years, will not just continue unabated.

As we said earlier, we’d be surprised if this bid is accepted by Ashley, but with news from inside the club leaking out, that a buyer has been found, we’ll need to wait and see what other news we hear today.

The Shepherd purchase, if it happens,  will be good in the short term of one or two years, but longer term there will be concerns on how well the club will be run, as a viable business enterprise.

Comments welcome.

82 comments so far

  • MagNOR

    Jun 30, 2009 at 1:54 AM

    Comment #1

    Sweet.. i hope this will be a done deal.. Fat Fred over Fat Mike anyday:)

  • Joseph

    Jun 30, 2009 at 2:08 AM

    Comment #2

    why does it have to be fat fred why!

  • ObaFan2

    Jun 30, 2009 at 2:17 AM

    Comment #3

    Not much of a choice MagNOR but lets see what happens and who’s got the money and the clout to drive this club forward.

    One thing for sure FFS may have the experience (I use this term losely)but he certainly hasn’t got the money!

  • MagNOR

    Jun 30, 2009 at 2:25 AM

    Comment #4

    I know but the thing is to get rid of MA. And as it is now FS is the only one that seems to be willing to take over as is it now..

    I would prefer s0meone richer but surely Shepard has given us success before. He havent spended money wisely but at least he will try and has the love for the club..

    atm i think this is some of the best we can get as the other people that is interested dont give it 100% to take over.. With FS we know what we get though we know its not the best its atleast better than MA.

    sry for errors but im not that good in english.

  • ObaFan2

    Jun 30, 2009 at 2:31 AM

    Comment #5

    Certainly pros and cons with FFS……..

  • Tom Mo.

    Jun 30, 2009 at 3:02 AM

    Comment #6

    ehhh….id rather have someone new for a fresh breath of air..and with more money…but whatever is better than fat Mike.

  • ginkoh

    Jun 30, 2009 at 4:03 AM

    Comment #7

    Why on earth Ashley should accept 60m if he put the price tag 100m ? Come on ! He’s Mike Cashley and he will not accept any bid less than 100m, if noone offer him we will stuck with him until something happening.

  • Rangerman

    Jun 30, 2009 at 4:52 AM

    Comment #8

    A lot depends on who is apart of Shepherd’s consortium but this really could be the end of us ever doing anything decent in the football World again, for all of the best intentions he just hasn’t got the finances to help us make an impact in modern football.

    For anyone wondering why any group has stopped the club from appointing Shearer then here is your answer, Shepherd wants to be the one who appoints him to take the heat off himself.

  • Stuart79

    Jun 30, 2009 at 6:54 AM

    Comment #9

    I don’t mind Shepherd as long as he has wealthy backers.

    I’d be amazed if he’s put alot of money into this as his fortune is only £60m

  • Hugh Jorgan

    Jun 30, 2009 at 7:20 AM

    Comment #10

    Hopefully we will see some movement today.

  • magforlife

    Jun 30, 2009 at 7:31 AM

    Comment #11

    Why is it always overstated that Ashley has lost money? No club ever makes a profit and the owners arent in it for that, the fans dont make a bloody profit either. This does my crust in, does it need to be spelled out that the cash coming into a club disappears into the squad and is partly replaced by fans cash and tv money. Its ironic that a cockney wise guy could be properly stiffened by a bigger geordie bandit.

  • UTD111

    Jun 30, 2009 at 7:42 AM

    Comment #12

    I’ll take Freddie Shepherd over the barrow boy and his cockney mafia any day. Better the devil you know…….and as was pointed out earlier, we don’t know who else is in his consortium, but if Sir Alan is happy with it then so am I.
    He might have that Sheik the press invented last week!!

  • Nick D

    Jun 30, 2009 at 7:42 AM

    Comment #13

    Shepherd has no overseas backing, so funding would be extremly limited. That in itself may not be a bad thing as over spending and no wage structure has put us where we are now. Oh hang on a minute that was Shepherd wasn’ t it !!!!

    After all this waiting, the only option coming forward is the man who is the ultimate media whore, who ran the club in to the ground and could easily have driven us in to adminsistration and got us relegated earlier than we did.

    Shepherd’s reign was totally unsustainable and all these has beens on stupid wages were his legacy.

    1) Shepherd is a xenophobe
    2) Shepherd made stupid managerial appointments
    3) Stupid Hollywood trophy signings
    4) Interfered with manager’s signings
    5) Paid himself massive unjustified dividends from the club
    6) set up all his dodgy family deals.
    7) Sacked SBR
    8) Has a 2 faced relationship with Shearer, calling him Mary Poppins, whilst at the same time suporting him against managers like SBR.
    9) Shocking PR and comments about lower league clubs.
    10) Called Geordie women dogs etc etc.

    That’s just 10 to be going on with.

    Do we really want this crook back just to let him salvage his in jured pride at our expense all over again

  • Norway_the_lads

    Jun 30, 2009 at 7:43 AM

    Comment #14

    Could the low bid of 60 million purely be because he wants to save as much as possible for transfers?

    I have no idea who the other investors could be. But surely he’s not doing this on his own. And perhaps he’s got a cashgoat with him..

    Why pay 100 million when you can get it 40% of?

    Just a tought…

  • tooneskimo

    Jun 30, 2009 at 7:44 AM

    Comment #15

    Tick, credit, never never wor Freddie is an expert in these fields and is a skilled operator in embezlement, we’ll have a team of superstars in no time…….

  • tooneskimo

    Jun 30, 2009 at 7:46 AM

    Comment #16

    Maybe Ashley is having a sale…
    Final Reductions, Closing down, 40% off.

  • tooneskimo

    Jun 30, 2009 at 7:49 AM

    Comment #17

    Nick D,
    With reference to number 10, have you ever been to Cowgate?

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:12 AM

    Comment #18

    Frying Pans & Fires spring to mind

  • shrews mag

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:18 AM

    Comment #19

    I can see why people want the comfort of FS who is a a local lad made good and who knows what the club means to newcastle and its fans.

    But my guess is that he will be looking to get the club (very) cheap … spend enough to get back into the premier league … and then sell for a huge profit (over £150M)

    Of course there is nothing wrong with that because we end up happy and where we want to be back in the PL … and he ends up happy and rich.

    I just hope that he steadies the ship and puts it in good hands when he sells it on … it would be nice to think that he will be successful in his quest to make everyone happy …

  • lesh

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:19 AM

    Comment #20

    FFS made stupid managerial appointments? Did he Nick @13?

    Keegan? Dalglish? Gullet? SBR? Souness? Allardyce?

    All of them bar Keegan who’d never managed before, achieved way beyond expectations at their provious clubs.

    Could it have been fans’ expectations or in the case of Souness and Allardyce, dislike and prejudice that went against them?

    Someone suggested that sometimes the fans have been and are the club’s worst enemy….. maybe a grain of something there?

  • Kevin Nichol

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #21

    To Nick D and anyone else who cares to listen;

    I havent posted for some time but i have to hammer one point home which most newcastle fans seem unclear about. Ed can you please run an article on this point to clear up any confusion?

    Point 7 (Nick D)….

    Shepard did not call for the head of Sir bobby. Freddie did not have the controlling shares at Newcastle. This was held by the Halls. It was the Halls and the rest of the Newcastle Board who decided sir bobby’s time was up. It was left to Shepard to deliver the news to sir Bobby as the public face of the Newcastle United board. Shepard and sir Bobby remain good friends to this day.

    Shepard was the driving force behind bringing sir Bobby in as manager in the first place; against the boards wishes at the time.

    It was the Halls and other board members who had lost faith in sir Bobby.


    Again i implore you to run an article on this Ed to set people straight as this really annoys me; flippent comments without any substance.

    Freddie Shepard may have done alot of damage at Newcastle; i may not have been his biggest fan but he has the club at heart. In fact; i’d take him back in a heartbeat compared to the absolute shambolic regime in charge right now.

  • Volume_Coxlodge

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    Comment #22

    FF has had his chance to make NUFC what is has the potential of being. Since the 1950/60s the club has been run by a set of money orientated unsuitable people and selling the club back to one of them is not what should happen to our club.

    Comments about how much he might pay need top be understood with respect to the liabilities which may go with it like debt etc.

    If NUFC wants to compete at the highest level it needs investment, something which FF never gave the club. His only solution was to buy big, take his %, and say it was the players fault.

    No, I would be prepared to wait for the right owner.

  • Stuart79

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:26 AM

    Comment #23

    There are three reasons why I am more than a little sceptical about this story.

    1, Keith Harris asked every interested group to prove they have at least £100m to buy the club, Shephered hasn’t.

    2, It was widely reported that Harris was in US at the weekend, why if Shepherd is the front runner.

    3, Shephered simply doesn’t have the money needed to make us successful, he has said himself it’s a billionaires game now.

    The only way this will happen is if he has a very wealthy backer!

  • geordie deb

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #24

    Freddie Shepherd took over chairmanship of the club from Sir John Hall when we were second in the premiership, playing in the Champions League, we had money in the bank, a manager who had been in place for 5 years etc. Apart from everything Nick D mentions above, he left us when the club was sold in 13th place, not playing in Europe, on a downward spiral, more managerial appointments than we’ve had hot dinners, millions wasted on over rated, over paid has beens and trophy signings we could not afford, the club between £80-100m in debt, having created a nice cosy situation for his family and paying himself millions in dividends when all this was happening. It’s like we are sleep walking into a car crash. He is not the answer. All those who say he should have learnt his lessons things will be different this time, remind yourslef of that when he has taken us into administration.

  • Stuart79

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #25

    geordie deb // Jun 30, 2009 at 8:30 AM

    Obviously you don’t want FFS back!

    Why would he use his own money and then run the clb so badly that it goes into adminstration? I think you’ll find he’ll be a lot more dilligent with his own money.

    That’s one of the reasons I’d rather have somone with deep pockets.

    If Shepherd has a backer with deep pockets I’d have him back as chairman.

    Whatever your thoughts on him he has at least the experience of running a football club, something Llambias ect never had.

  • Toon Graeme

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #26

    Dont get too carried away with this report people.

    Timing is fantastic isnt it – end of the month – start of training tomorrow.

    Call me a synical ald geordie basket.

  • bro56

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #27

    nightmare on St James 2 .the return of fat Freddy.

    this is probably the worst news ever. were ashley and sheps seperated at birth.. which one is worse. he left our club crippled with debt and is hated by the masses. remember the season under roeder, with only martins up front we should of been relegated then.. so much for Americans with billions, we’ve settled with a local lad with food tokens…

  • bro56

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #28

    1, Keith Harris asked every interested group to prove they have at least £100m to buy the club, Shephered hasn’t.

    hes part of a consortium…..

    2, It was widely reported that Harris was in US at the weekend, why if Shepherd is the front runner

    ….. smoke screened again……

    3, Shephered simply doesn’t have the money needed to make us successful, he has said himself it’s a billionaires game now.

    …in the premier league, this is his chance to win over the fans…notice how him and mary poppins are great buddies now…

  • Stuart79

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #29

    bro56 // Jun 30, 2009 at 8:45 AM

    What’s ya point?

    The simple facts are he hasn’t got enough money to acheive what is needed.

    It’s ok saying ‘ in the Premier League’ but what happens when we get there? Do we end a yo-yo club like West Brom.

    If FFS buys the club i’ll be amazed!

    If the other groups interested are really serious and want the club they will outbid him quite easily.

  • geordie deb

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #30

    Stuart 79

    The simple facts are he hasn’t got enough money to acheive what is needed.

    It’s ok saying ‘ in the Premier League’ but what happens when we get there? Do we end a yo-yo club like West Brom.

    ‘If FFS buys the club i’ll be amazed!

    If the other groups interested are really serious and want the club they will outbid him quite easily.’

    I hope you’re right Stuart!


    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #31

    I think whoever buys the club must spend additional estimated 100m £…so add the 60m £ for ashley to that and it’s a fair price I think.

    Hope this gets through so that alan can start tomorrow!! Shepherd isn’t my first choice but everything is better than the incompetent MA!!

  • bettyswollocks

    Jun 30, 2009 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #32

    lesh // Jun 30, 2009 at 8:19 AM – ‘Someone suggested that sometimes the fans have been and are the club’s worst enemy….. maybe a grain of something there?’

    Those are comments usually associated with cretins who have no idea what the clubs about about – like stardust.

    If turning up every week in the thousands despite being starved of silverware for 40 years and being constantly ripped off, let down and taken advantage of is an enemy then I am not sure I understand the definition of the word. Blaming the fans is a convenient excuse for the constant incompetence that leads this club. Fans may have had a bit of a moan over recent times but I think they are entitled to that – and under the circumstances I think most have shown more patience and loyalty than the club has deserved.

    Here’s a novel concept – instead of making out that having a massive and loyal fan base is a weakness why doesn’t someone start running the club properly and utilise the fans as the strength that any normal club would view it as.

  • Eaststander

    Jun 30, 2009 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #33

    Mike Ashley will probably take a loss of £40 MIL just to spite us all, but I would take the Bin Ladens over Mike Ashley!!!

  • Big Dave

    Jun 30, 2009 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #34
  • BenjiToon

    Jun 30, 2009 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #35

    Well, well, well…who was on here a little while back saying there was only one bidder and it was FFS?

    I don’t know what to believe anymore. Although I usually trust the BBC. But, seriously lads, is anyone else just pig sick of all this rumbling on and on and on and on? Rumour, counter-rumour, radio silence, more rumour….it never ends.

    I don’t want Freddy back. I think he’s greedy and duplicitous. But this current farce needs to end NOW. The thought of losing 3 or 4 games on the trot at the start of the Championship turns me green. And that could well happen if something doesn’t change soon. After that it will be a struggle to get on our feet and fight for promotion.

    So, Freddy back? Not with open arms. But remember that greedy men rarely spend their own money to plug other people’s debts (Ashley included). Shepherd must have a plan of some sort, however crap it is. If he does, and it involved Shearer, then lets go!


    Jun 30, 2009 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #36

    Yeah I can see the 60m being inclusive of the 100m debt. So they new Owners would give Ashley 60m up front, then have to pay off the intrest free debt of 100m. They’ll also add some fee’s if the team get back in the prem at first go I imagine. I don’t like freddy but look where we were when he was in charge? we were at the top! if he’s got solid backing from abroad then we’d be in healthy state I recon. He’s not stupid, he said himself it’s a billionairs game so he sure to have enough financial clout.

  • Toon Graeme

    Jun 30, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #37

    Somit about this on SSN very shortly

  • tooneskimo

    Jun 30, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #38

    Spending vast amounts of money isn’t the answer people, that’s what got us into this mess in the first place, the amount of people on here banging on about how much money so and so’s got….
    I’d rather watch a squad of honest pro’s giving their all with a well run club, than a bunch of trophy signing mercanaries who feign injury when the going gets tough.
    Let’s just calm down and see what happens….

  • Ericles

    Jun 30, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #39

    I will go with Kevin Nichol on this one. We just hope that if the deal goes through that FFS has a financial investment group with him that can keep on him the straight and narrow. We have two main objectives – (1) get fat Ashley and his mafioso band of wide-boys out of NUFC, and (2)get promoted with Shearer at the helm. If that means FFS and a consortium then so be it.

  • lesh

    Jun 30, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #40

    I totally concur with yor comments bettyswollocks (@32) and understand the fans’ frustrations even if I can’t get to matches as I’d like to.

    The point I’m trying ot make and yes, it’s easier said than done given recent history and disappointments, is that IF, and it’s a big big if, a little more patience could be exercised, I’m sure it’d make life a little easier all round.

    Do I get one last requeest before I face the firing squad?


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