Report Says Shepherd Wants To Buy Newcastle – But Why?

Surprising news today that former Chairman Freddy Shepherd wants to buy Newcastle United –  well would you believe it?

Freddy Shepherd – wants to buy Newcastle – why?

This news would appear to be coming from ESPN, and even seems as if it could be legitimate, and Shepherd, who sold his shares to current owner Mike Ashley in June of 2007, is said to be all set to make an official offer that would  leave the club debt free.

This would help Newcastle comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, which comes into effect for European clubs next season, and basically sets in motion policies that would have clubs spend only the money they bring in through official club revenues.

The big question will be how much Shepherd is willing to bid for the club, as it is now much more expensive than the £100M or was it £80M, that Mike Ashley was asking for the club last year, before he took it off the market for a second time. We think Ashley has invested around £250M into the club, and would probably want this amount back if he did sell, and we have no idea if the current owner still wants out.

A close friend of Shepherd’s confirmed to ESPN today:

“I know Freddy is giving very serious consideration to making an offer and returning to St James’ Park.”

Shepherd, who is currently on Tyneside, is not denying the story but simply refuses to comment on it, but the news is that he is leading a consortium to buy the club, so it will be interesting to see how much they will offer Ashley. We have no news on who makes up the consortium he has put together, or who else is part of it.

But why does Freddy want to buy Newcastle at this time?

We can only think it’s because Freddy has seen too many good bargain buys made by the current regime, and possibly wants to go back to overpaying hugely for ordinary players, and then paying them sky high wages, as they fail to perform and couldn’t care less about the club.

But perhaps we are being far too harsh on Freddy, even though many Newcastle fans do not think he ran the club well when he was last in charge, and may not want him back.

Freddy of course is a true Newcastle fan through and through, and just like the rest of us who were born and bred in Newcastle – he’s as daft as a brush on Newcastle United.

The club was managed disastrously by Mike Ashley in the first two years after he bought the famous Newcastle club, in the summer of 2007, for around  £137M.

Mike bought the shares of  Sir John Hall first, and then Freddy Shepherd’s later, after Freddy had seemingly been blind-sided by John Hall agreeing to sell his shares, without telling him anything. The shares sold for 100 pence each.

But we must say since last July, with Chris Hughton in charge, the Newcastle club has been fairly well run, and Chris Hughton has been outstanding as the manager, and  has managed to stabilize the club, for the first time in a long time.

And Freddy is known to be a huge Alan Shearer admirer, so it begs the question whether he would want to install Alan as the manager,  if  and when he does succeed in buying his home-town club.

On the other hand, only last week Freddy spoke out in support of Chris Hughton, and said he had done a great job at Newcastle, which we reported on last week.

This is a surprising story to say the least, and begs all kinds of questions about whether the bid will be a serious one, and what will Newcastle’s strategy be if Freddy actually does eventually take over.

Will Shepherd continue on what was looking like a quite successful youth policy – probably the best think Ashley has done at the club.

It’s hard to know if this is good or bad for Newcastle – it’s a tricky one –  but please let us know what you think about this  breaking news.

Comments welcome.


Newcastle have denied that any bid has been made for the club and that in any case,  the Newcastle club is not for sale.

A senior source at St James’ Park said:

“Newcastle United have had no contact from anybody regarding a possible purchase and furthermore the club is not for sale.”

40 comments so far

  • aoOjee

    Nov 1, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #1

    one step forward, two steps back?

  • geist

    Nov 1, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #2

    No ed, you are not being harsh. I like the way MA has been running the club recently and I do not want anything upsetting our progress. Definately would not want sheperd anyway.

  • chrisf30

    Nov 1, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #3

    f**king hope not.

  • Howay The Lads

    Nov 1, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #4

    It’s clearly rubbish. I don’t think Ashley would sell either, especially when he said he wanted to sell to the ‘right’ owner, which is definitely FFS

  • GeordieGerman

    Nov 1, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #5

    He may be able to get Owen cheap. 🙂

  • Mo Drysdale

    Nov 1, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #6

    Great Site mate but I am interested to see if anyone agrees with me on this.
    I would like to mention how fed up I am of hearing the so called Supermac’s continues criticism of all things Newcastle United/Chris Houghton. He spent a few years at Newcastle and Granted he had a decent scoring record during that time but as soon as a better offer came along from the big smoke, he was off like a hairy shirt.
    All he has done over the last couple of decades is leach of the back of the Toon and constantly criticise and back stab managers and heroes of the black and white.
    Yes he has a right to his opinion however I for one would suggest it is not the opinion of someone who loves and genuinely supports our great team.
    Also all of us true Toon supporters think the world of Chris and that showed on Sunday with the reception he received from the crowd.
    I for one would be prepared to stick with Chris through thick and thin even if that meant relegation, all because I see in him what I saw in “Wor Bobby”, a gentleman and a true footballing man in the making.
    Up with the Toon.

  • AndyMac

    Nov 1, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #7

    Look behind the origin of this story. Harry Harris a close friend of Shepherd who “broke” stories on behalf of the Fat Parasite before. Strangely enough Anal Oliver was at it last week does anyone spot the obvious connection here ?

  • CT

    Nov 1, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #8

    After yesterday`s great performance, you just could not make today news up! Or could you?
    Ashley looked very relaxed yesterday, has he had an offer that is under consideration?? Is this the real reason Hoot`s contract renewal is stalling?? Is Shearer part of the consortium?? Is this why shorterm the board want to promote Hoots assistant internally rather than give a lucrative contract to a newcomer who may not be to a new owners liking??
    SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE?? not with US!!

  • AndyMac

    Nov 1, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #9

    CT what have I just said ? Its bull plain and simple there is no smoke only mirrors.

  • CT

    Nov 1, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #10

    Oops, sorry AndyMac, didn`t realise you had a monopoly on opinions on here!!! Or you had insider Knowledge!! Pr*ck! You f*c**n read WHAT I HAVE SAID. At least I have given a considered argument or theory, not just a chidish dummyspat!!

  • sweendog

    Nov 1, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #11

    don’t think so ..
    strange but I’d rather have ashley .. the club was in debt to the hilt ..
    thanks fat freddy ..
    Why can’t we have a billionaire with a bit of cash ..

  • pearceet

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #12

    Reports surfacing that the club is NOT for sale.

    I got the info from several sources

  • john_cena163

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #13

    Freedy if u wana buy da club u can bt plz dont make any changes. Let the club n da management staff be as it is, al u can do is giv CH atleast 30mill for transfers on players.

  • john_cena163

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #14

    Freddy if u wana buy da club u can. bt plz dont make any changes. Let the club an da management staff be as it is, al u can do is giv CH atleast 30mill for transfers on players.

  • geoff777

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #15

    He hasn’t been in the news for a while.
    This is an ego massaging fix for a man who misses seeing himself in the directors box on MOTD and reading his name in the daily papers.
    Sadly understandable?

  • newcastle29

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #16

    its quite simply not true!! just been on ssn shepherd has denied it and hes not got the money anyway!!

  • Mr Books

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #17

    Freddy Shepherd buy the club and leave it debt free – That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard since Titus Bramble signed for the scum.

    Even if Ashley wrote off the £120M+ he has put into the club, and was willing to sell his shares for 1/4 what he paid for them, Freddy shepherd could still not afford it.

    Realistically Shepherd would need about 10 times the amount of cash he has, even if he sold his business, houses etc. The only way he could possibly get that – promise whoever “loaned” him the money that it would be mortgaged against the club when he got it. I.E. a leveraged buy out – exactly what the Glaziers, and Gillette and Hicks have done.

    No Thank you.

  • Alchemist

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #18

    Freddie hasn’t got the cash and what bank would lend him the money needed to finance the club in this economic climate?

  • carrollsinger

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #19


  • CT

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #20

    Thank God it`s not true, never thought we`d prefer Ashley but seems he`s learned from his initial mistakes.

  • Thump

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #21

    I really wish cena would get a f**king spell checker or shut up.

    @CT: Why the outburst? He said exactly what you said in less words.

    Even though it’s been partially debunked (there’s no word on, FFS coming back here would be a disaster. His being “daft about Newcastle United” has obviously never spread to the fans – need I remind you all of what lovely words he had to say about us? He can go and swivel for all I care. Fat, useless, horrible bastard.

  • BeeGuy

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #22

    Well if you can’t disrupt the club attacking the manager, try going after the owner. Next week the board will be reported to being throwing out both CH and MA, putting Meryl Streep in an owner/managers role.

    You gotta figure these rumors are out there to discourage players and their agent s from coming to a club on the upswing.

  • CT

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #23

    Thump, maybe a little wild and over the top but never got used to being told “WHAT HAVE I JUST SAID” as if no one else is allowed an opinion, theory or argument. I was simply putting the facts out for debate and consideration!

  • CT

    Nov 1, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #24

    Meryl Streep, where did that come from,mind you she`d be better than Freddie!!

  • chuck

    Nov 1, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #25

    For Sale ?
    Just a red herring to distract fans from the real problem going on.
    That the question of Hughtons contract.
    Contrary to common belief that contract talks have yet to take place, former Newcastle player Warren Barton revealed on FSN that in fact Chris has been offered a lowball contract which he has turned down.
    After doing a fantastic job with this (not great)side over the last year, for an amount, less than two weeks of Wayne Rooney`s wages, apparently Ashley has refused to offer him (we unfortunately don`t know the figures) what he considers to be a fair compensation.
    To be dumb enough to risk losing this manager over money is typical of what we have experienced from Ashley, a man who has spends enormous sums, both on parties in NY and in gambling casinos.
    Having watched the job CH has done over the last year with this side, I mean, who would have projected we would be in seventh position to-day.
    And don`t think it has gone un- noticed by the footballing community, there are clubs who would hire Hughton if available and with a track record like his, why not ?

  • AndyMac

    Nov 1, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #26

    OK CT you got upset but surely you now realise that anyone and I mean ANYONE can write all sorts of shlte about the Toon and then get it uploaded by news aggregators such as Newsnow then, as if by magic, another twelve instances of the same shlte you’ve just written appears on the web to support the shlte you’ve created.

    Anal Oliver’s recent outburst

    spread across the web like an STD in a Sunderland nightclub. We, as mere fans, now have to be aware that whatever we read on the web may be put there for a reason by people who may not have the best interests of the club at heart.

    A clue to this is in the people involved. Anal Oliver was Fat Freddy’s lap dog (most polite way I can describe him) while the Fat Parasite was at SJP. Harry Harris was also on the Shepherd crony list.

  • marshy

    Nov 1, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #27

    well I seem to be the only one on here to want ashley out.if shep bought the club,and its a big if,then he would be at the head of a consortium who ,I think,would hardly let him behave as he did before i.e pick crap managers and dip into the funds.don’t forget he is a newcastle fan and not a cockney liar.having said all that I don’t beleive the story so we are left with the fat liar.

  • CT

    Nov 1, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #28

    AndyMac the facts I posted are the facts, how they are interpreted is for the reader, anyway Shepherd coming back seems to be a load of bollox thank god and wer`e (CEPT MARSHY) all as one on that!!

  • GeordieGerman

    Nov 1, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #29

    marshy, “dip into the funds” so you mean a thief and Ashley is a liar? Know which I’d prefer.

  • AndyMac

    Nov 1, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #30

    Yeah funny that Geordie German .

    ” I’m happy because Fat Freddy is a Geordie the fact that he’s a lying, cheating embezzler is neither here nor there”

  • Thump

    Nov 1, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    Comment #31

    Crap managers? Keegan, Dalglish, Gullit – even Sir Bobby was brought in under FFS reign. Don’t get me wrong, there was some horrors that we shouldn’t even mention but still.

    Now I have to defend picking Gullit. Yes he ballsed up with Shearer and Clarke (I think thats wrong but I can’t remember) and the idiot he is played down the derby that ulimately got him sacked (I recall his exact words were “it’s unimportant”) but he did some good things with the club.

    FFS single handedly lead us into the brink of financial ruin and laughed at the fans, was forced to resign only to step back up shortly afterwards – that’s why no sod likes the man. Yes he poured money into the club but the club couldn’t afford to maintain it. Ashley stepped in and fixed a lot of that. Like him or not, if it wasn’t for Ashley we’d be forced to live off our academy for talent over the next decade whilst we got back into the black with the bank managers; in fact we really would have “done a Leeds”.

  • AndyMac

    Nov 1, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    Comment #32

    Sorry Thump but lets just dispel that myth once and for all.

    “Yes he poured money into the club but the club couldn’t afford to maintain it”

    Over the period Shepherd was involved with the club the only money he put into the club was the funds with which he bought club shares (at a reduced rate) so that he could increase his shareholding.

    The money that was used to pay for players transfers came from you and me and part of the assets that were once NUFC. The only thing to note is that between 1996, just before becoming a PLC, and being bought out by Mike Ashley in 2007 the Hall and Shepherd families took out over £12m in pay. Those two families also took out a further £23m in dividends that they decided the club could afford. The dividend and pay came directly from the club coffers. In addition to which the Halls and Shepherds then received approximately £75m from the sale of the club to Mike Ashley.

    In the end Shepherd left a club that was losing over £30m a year, had debts of £70m, had no assets they could borrow more money against, and had a set of players on long term, lucrative contracts. When they (Halls and Shepherds) left it was a case of having to jump before the club imploded financially.

    Dont take my word for any of this just visit and see for yourself.

  • CT

    Nov 1, 2010 at 10:37 PM

    Comment #33

    AndyMac, Absolutely spot on in every detail, got off to a rocky start earlier you and me, but now see we wan`t and believe in the same things!!

  • Thump

    Nov 1, 2010 at 11:08 PM

    Comment #34

    Very informative, AndyMac. I’ll admit I didn’t know a lot of that but wasn’t it down to those lucrative contracts that caused some of the problems? Overpaying for players, overpayment in wages and much, much more. Yes there was a time that we were living within our means, but that stopped some time ago.

    You said it yourself – it’s all in the website.

  • CT

    Nov 1, 2010 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #35

    Thump, Amac is right in every detail. Never thought I`d say it, at the mo Ashley is right for us, Don`t forget level playing field coming, EXPENDITURE v INCOME!

  • Sgt. Heagerty

    Nov 2, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    Comment #36

    asked me about 18 months ago and i would have begged freddie to come get us, (it really pains me to say this) but for once in a long time things are right at my beloved newcastle united fc. mike ashley has finally gotten his shite together and realized that the toon army are the greatest supporters on the planet and need to be respected. he is making smart decisions for the sake of nufc not for just his pocketbook.

    m.a. has allowed chris hughton to run the club, he is balancing our books, revamping our academy and youth system(academy is really coming great) and is listening to the fans and stabalizing a club thats been beggong for stability for a long time..

    sorry freddie, micheal owen makes me sick, paying him 10 mil a week makes me sicker. it makes me a little sick to say this but hey the fat man is doing a good job by nufc at the moment and has for awhile……ill cast my lot with big mac(ashley)

  • Brutooon

    Nov 2, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    Comment #37

    Sell only to a new dubai owner

    Who gave 500 million in transfer budget hehe

  • Bao Zheng

    Nov 2, 2010 at 3:38 AM

    Comment #38

    I can’t see anything about Shepherd on ESPN but I can see a lot in the Mail. Which tells you all you need to know. Move on, nothing to see here.

  • lesh

    Nov 2, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #39

    Ed. I’d have no real worry if FFS took the club and ran it as a football club in a business-like manner.

    However, and it may be me, but do I detect some contradiction in your thesis? The blog postures that……

    “This [clearing the club’s debts] would help Newcastle comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, which comes into effect for European clubs next season, and basically sets in motion policies that would have clubs spend only the money they bring in through official club revenues”

    And then the blog goes on to say…..

    “We can only think it’s because Freddy has seen too many good bargain buys made by the current regime, and possibly wants to go back to overpaying hugely for ordinary players, and then paying them sky high wages, as they fail to perform and couldn’t care less about the club”

    The last paragraph surely flies in the face of the former…. or is it me missing something?

  • Captain Beefheart

    Nov 2, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #40

    ‘It’s hard to know if this is good or bad for Newcastle – it’s a tricky one..’ Ed.

    Is it really, Ed? You clearly have a problem with your memory!

    Facts: FFS sold this club down the river, lumbered us with little Micky and countless overpaid foreigners, left a black hole in the books and sacked Sir Bobby en route. Any one of these would be regarded a hanging offence in a more enlightened country. Like most recent local ex-directors he is green and white and rotten through and through.

    Stick with fat Mike, although I am annoyed at the crap he’s currently putting the club through on Hoots’ contract..


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