Mike Ashley And Freddy Shepherd Almost Polar Opposites


It’s very interesting to compare Freddy Shepherd, the Chairman who led Newcastle for ten years from December 1st, 1997 through August of 2007, with Mike Ashley, who bought the club six years ago.

4079396

Freddy Shepherd – but we don’t have the money – don’t make me laugh

Freddy had unlimited ambitions for Newcastle, being born and bred in the area, and Freddy used to bid for top players with money we just didn’t have.

Two good examples are Wayne Rooney, who we were willing to pat out £25M for in the summer of 2004, before Manchester United came in and signed him.

And the next year we bought Michael Owen for £17M from Real Madrid, a deal that in retrospect has to be one of the worst financial deals ever made by Newcastle.

And now we have Mike Ashley – and to be fair to the Londoner,. he has put the club on a very solid financial setting, and we have money – but he wont pay it out to get top players – and Mike seems to have very limited ambitions for the club.

Newcastle continually barter with clubs today, to get the fee down as low as possible, and when a good player is involved – like this summer with St Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, another club comes in and agrees the fee and Newcastle lose out.

It’s almost like Freddy Shepherd and Mike Ashley are polar opposites.

mike ashley smiling

Mike Ashley – why don’t we meet their fee – don’t make me laugh

One spent money on top players we didn’t have, and the other will not spend the money we do have on top players.

We probably need something in the middle, but it’s very frustrating for fans, as we keep missing out because we will not bid that extra million or two to meet a selling club’s fee.

We will continue to miss out on our top targets – and we’ll have to rely on Graham Carr and his scouting staff, to find good and almost unknown players – players big clubs will not yet be after – if we are to become great again.

That’s a risky and difficult endeavor, and at best it will take many years to create a good side.

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62 comments so far

  • the truth will out

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #1

    i bet carr looks to get out after tdl

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  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #2

    Ibiza

    I long ago gave up hope of winning anything in my lifetime especially when Ashley asked the Mansoors for 800M instead of the previous going price of 200M. We are just cursed.

    However and this proves how incredibly naive I must be, I still or I did regard watching football as one of the few remaining pleasures in life. This has totally gone for me now.

    Losing games when you are at least trying to play some football is one thing. Coming 16th with no attempt to pass and move and keep the ball on the deck and with another 7 years of Pardew’s dismal ”play for a point” philosophy is more than I can stomach.

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  • Spoof

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #3

    With Shepherd at least we had hope, which is something we don’t have now, all we hope for now is a fluky cup run, which isn’t the best feeling in the world.

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  • Rowan Milsted

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #4

    I really doubt we were ever in for PEA anyway. It never seemed likely to happen and all we were only ever ‘linked’ as a number of clubs were, who had more money and the promise of CL football. It was unrealistic and nothing was ever confirmed so I don;t know why we keep going on about it, especially on day three of the transfer window.

    Personally I think Bent would be a good signing but not at £8m. If we can get his wages down and sign him for around £5m I think he’ll score 12-20 goals for us next season, which is more than just about anyone else will get.

    I also think we should be shifting Heaven and earth to sign Bony at around £12m. Swansea can offer stability and proven progress over the last few seasons, and a top manager to boot. However, if we put in a good offer with decent wages and the promise that he’ll play most games (I’d start him over Bent) then we could get him.

    Ultimately it’s day three of the window and a lot of people seem to have given up already. Now that’s what I call a lack of ambition!

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  • lesh

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #5

    Surely we only appeared to be willing to sign Wayne Rooney by paying out £25M for in the summer of 2004, before Manchester United came in and signed him.

    Could it have been that Paul Stretford, Rooney’s agent, had his office in SJP that enabled a bit of collusion between him and Freddy…… To jack up the fee Man U would pay?

    No, that’d be naughty wouldn’t it, surely not;

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  • Toon_Tom

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #6

    Slank (19 from previous post) – you dont become a top team by winning the league cup mate!!

    You become a top team by playing in europe, challenging for top 4 every year, taking the game to teams like man utd, city, chelskea – and for this you do need massive investment

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  • Graeme

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #7

    But MA has already stated what he wants – young, cheap players that will develop and increase in value. That can be sold later, for a profit!!

    How does PEA fit into that situation, when he fails the first criteria?? – CHEAP!!!

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  • tequilamag

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #8

    Rotonda where is your evidence the Mansoors wanted to buy Newcastle and where is the evidence MA wanted 800 mill for the club ?

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  • Santon03

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #9

    back on Shepperd days 20 million would have been huge transfer possibly record breaking, nowadays seems not much.
    Even seems not much, trying to make 20 million profit is still very hard thing to do, but people seems to forget about this.

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  • Spoof

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #10

    lesh
    I don’t believe that was the case, I feel we genuinely did try to sign him, don’t forget that we signed Owen the following summer, the club were going for the big starts back then.

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  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #11

    Torq…it is not lack of ambition that PEA chose Dortmund over us (if we even bid for him), the lack og ambition comes from the indication that we once again haven’t done our job when it comes to identify targets that we can actually attract.

    It is all about expectations; can we get this player, can we afford him and would he be willing to come here?

    I know it’s only day three of the transfer window, but these question should have been asked this season as well as last season. It is amateur work in my work (that’s all I am saying).

    I love NUFC, but it’s run by amateur!

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  • Ibizatoon

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #12

    Rotonda…Regardless of opinion on how and why, it is a damn shame that so many people are at the point where they have given up because the belief and joy is gone. We can pick the reasons apart all day, but the end result is the same.

    I do however think that a little bit too much is being made of style of play. I think as a first step, it would be good to just get some excitement back on the field. Back in our promotion season, it wasn’t tricky or beautiful football, but it was passionate.

    For me, that is the biggest thing missing from our club and let’s face it, the Geordies are a passionate bunch and need that to be replicated.

    I do truly hope that they pull something off to instill that belief again, although I appreciate that will be hard. We fans were here long before Ashley & Co and will be long after.

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  • lesh

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #13

    tequilamag.

    I seem to remember a photo of Ashley and Llambias in a bar in Dubai – reportedly waiting for the Arabs to come back to them with an improved offer.

    Waiting for wealthy Arabs to contact them in a bar? Needless to say the offer never came. It just beggared belief, the arrogance, the lack of respect, ignorance!!

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  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #14

    NO BRAINER

    I know where I would want to go Borussia Dortmund if I was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

    Dortmund – Championship League losing finalists
    Runners up in Bundersleig
    Chance of winning both this season.

    Or a mid table Premiership team.

    Freddie Shepherd might of had great ambitions for the TOON but with no money -Shepherd left was 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, lucrative contracts. –
    Recipe for a Portsmouth

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  • the truth will out

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #15

    they let perch go bring in bent and taylor and a couple of a,n,others
    i would be happy with a,n,others but bent and taylor k,m,a for my moneyto give to you f,g,b

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  • Ba Humbug

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #16

    Re: Bent –

    Pro – he can poach a LOT of goals, Lambert we all know has favouritism issues, Bent will want to prove his doubters wrong so let him do it in a newcastle shirt

    Cons – he’s a mercenary, proved that when he left sunderland, age (but not THAT old come on!!), ex-sunderland (doesnt bother me personally in the slightest

    If the price is right, then he’d be a great option as a 2nd/ 3rd striker in the squad.

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  • the truth will out

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #17

    portsmouth got rid of all greedy money grabbing thieves in charge they will pos rise again same with rangers

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  • tequilamag

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #18

    Lesh, I have been looking for an article I read that said when he was trying to sell after the KK fiasco that there were 8 enquiries but only one was an offer and that was from a consortium who were not able to get all the money together. Nothing at all about the Mansoors. If he had been offered 2oo mill I am fairly sure he would have snappped their hands off at the time. For better or worse we are stuck with MA and no amount of moanibg on a blog is going to change that.

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  • Markaccus

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #19

    Torq

    Andy Carroll wasnt my fault. I was waiting for a replacement pass so he could come here on the x6 from blyth shops, where he had been sunning himself for 2 weeks. Unfortunately, nexus couldnt get my pass over the line in time and he ended up getting a lift to west ham in the back of a flat bed.

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  • the truth will out

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #20

    ba humbug two poachers up front you need to supply a pair we cannot

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  • Santon03

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #21

    FIFA Financial Fair Play is the best way to go if it’s real.

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #22

    Sazzer,

    I disagree. Ashley was flapping about staying up so he spent.

    We would not of brought in those players if we were sitting comfortable in the top half or mid-table. Basically, if we didn’t have the injury crisis.

    Ashley is ambitious only when it suits him personally. When something maybe is at stake or to fit his own agenda.

    The money is there and we are crying out for a top class forward and we have been since January.

    NUFC CAN attract a 10-15 million pound proven goal scorer I don’t doubt that for a second.

    Im off to bed, been a long night. Have fun lads.

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  • Santon03

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #23

    I don’t think Monaco or PSG have income to pay those transfers. Where the f@ck is Platini?

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  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #24

    Okay I have to share something funny here; those who know me on here knows I don’t play FIFA or FM and like so many others have to google these new players everyone is talking about 🙂 lol

    But a few weeks ago a bought FM 2013 (can anyone help me with tactics by the way) so I could get up to speed with the street lingo and players names bantered around.

    I am managing Leeds (no need to ruin Newcastle I’ll leave that to someone else) and Newcastle fired Pardew and hired Pulis – and this happened just as Pulis and Stoke had gone there separated ways in the real world and believe it or not but they suddenly started to play football.

    Pardew on the other hand took over at WBA (it wasn’t pretty, but he won them the FA Cup). Well just thought it was fun in the the context of everything.

    Leeds on the other hand is in the EPL in their second season under my leadership (but my tactics are god awful so I am become a second rated 4-4-2 advocate 🙁 )

    ..and it is still not pretty nor affective!!!

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  • TorqToon

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #25

    Jesp – how do we know we haven’t done that?! For all we know, Dortmund might not have even considered PEA Until we spoke with him?!

    We could’ve got the player, we could’ve afforded the player (willing to pay more if reports are to be believed?) and he stated himself that he was willing to come here.

    It just so happens the champions league runners up came in for him, and he doesn’t chase money, but success.

    I very much doubt he was our only target!

    Graham Carr knows what he is doing. If he can bring in players like moussa and Yanga under lambias, then he can do it under JK.

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  • Puppet Pardew's Brainlessness

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #26

    It’s 3 days into the transfer window and we haven’t signed anyone!
    I’m going to shoot Mike Ashley then myself. it’s unacceptable and depressing.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #27

    PPB…Can you add Indy to that list?

    http://sulia.com/indykaila/f/8b97cd2c-c0a5-4fee-b661-5500e035019d/?guid=8b97cd2c-c0a5-4fee-b661-5500e035019d

    Sell Benny, loan in the Ox. Seems a likely scenario….

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  • Greebol1892

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #28

    RE: Swansea signings – Laudrup vs Pardew/Kinnear….. if you were a professional footballer, which would you choose? No contest.

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  • Beattie25

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #29

    Ibiza

    I fully agree with what you say but when there is absoloutley nothing else to cheer then the very least we expect is passion and quality.

    For years we laughed at the teams that played awful football and were proud that our club played nothing of the sort.

    Then we accepted poor quality due to the poor management and signings that we had and the lack of passion then was unforgivable.

    We were relegated and had nothing but broken hearts so when we then showed the passion we had lost we fell in love with the club again.

    Then we signed some real quality and the least we still expect is decent football and a bit of passion.

    These things are extinct from NUFC whilst Ashley and Joe and Pardew are ruling the roost. We have become the teams we laughed at. We are an embaressment.

    No longer will the opposition think of NUFC as a passionate team that play good football. We are a foreign legion that plays long ball, it’s simply unforgivable.

    It not simply down to instilling passion into our football, we need quality. I am fed up of being played off the park against every team, big or small.

    We can blame Ashley for lack of ambition but he is only complimented by a manager with a complete lack of ability.

    The club has bounced around for the past 3 seasons but I guarantee we’ve found our level as a lower mid table club unless we not only improve the team but drastically improve the coaching.

    We are the new Stoke, there is no denying it. My social circle is made up of fans following a variety of clubs and the general thought is ‘at least we aren’t newcastle’.

    Passion on the pitch is the absolute bare minimum we demand, quality is the very least we deserve. Alan Pardew can offer us neither in my opinion.

    If I supported any other club NUFC would be everything I hate about modern day football. Sadly I was born to follow them and have my heart broken, dreams shattered and hope smashed more often than not.

    What’s to blame? All 3 points of the triangle. Owner, DOF, Manager.

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  • TorqToon

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #30

    Ibiza – where does Indy find all these clowns??!!!

    Pay £2mil to borrow a player for a year?!?! Yeah ok then!

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  • Laurent Robert 32

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #31

    Bent will rely on other people giving him service to score from. We are awful at that, so what service would he be getting? At least Cisse can score wonder strikes.

    In a well coached team, players who unsually may not have the productivity they should have, will find a new understanding of the game and contribute more positively in new areas.

    We don’t have that technical level of management and coaching, so the disjointed dross will bundle on. As will Pardews lies.

    Get who you want in player-wise, the potential is still compressed due to a prat in charge of the team. More lies from his silver tongue will follow.

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  • Sazzer

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #32

    One has to remember that Ashley is still fixing Shepherds mistakes. It’s like starting the season with hell of lot of minus points.

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  • Markaccus

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #33

    £6m for Jonjo Shelvey and you wonder why #NUFC shop abroad

    Thats the first sensible tweet i jave ever seen from colin. He is not wrong there for once

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  • the truth will out

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #34

    wrong the failings and problems we face are now of ashleys making

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  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #35

    Torq…truthfully we don’t know anything do we?

    …all I am saying is that it’s my assessment on the matter based on what has happened the last few seasons.

    On PEA Dortmund have been linked to him for the past three month or so. But is it not about PEA, but about expectations as I put it.

    In my book we are run by amateurs and have just hired the biggest amateur of them all with 30 years of experience and according to himself is the best DoF around 😉

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  • rainrix

    Jul 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #36

    Markaccus… Then you look further down his time line and apparently obertan is to be used as leverage in the PEA deal. Kinda shatters that temporary sensible perception 🙂

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  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Jul 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #37

    Torq…it remains to be seen. PEA has been linked with alot of teams (that cannot come as a surprise to either JFK or Ashley).

    I think it was yesterday or so that I read that we had tabled a bid for PEA and then I read Dortmund had a bid accepted that was suppose to be less than what we bid?

    We should not kid ourselves; we had an idea of what PEA would cost. If it’s to much for us then cross him off the shortlist and move on 🙂

    It will remain to be seen if we have learned anything from last season (de Jong and Remy)

    It’s just my take on it…fair enough if you see it differently!

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  • fatman

    Jul 3, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #38

    Sazzer
    Shepherd ran up debts of £37m over the cost of the stadium expansion in his 10 years, Ashley has lost £46m in his short time as owner. who is better?

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jul 3, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #39

    How have we got the money now if our debt is actually higher than the club is valued?

    Sure, we could borrow it, or not pay off our debt, but that doesn’t count as having the money in my book.

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  • Beattie25

    Jul 3, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #40

    Robert32

    Perfectly put.

    Anyone who thinks Darren Bent will be a decent signing is living 5 years in the past, forgets who our wingers are and has far too much confidence in Pardew to play the sort of attacking football Bent relies upon.

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