Freddy Shepherd has said in the Chronicle today that Alan Pardew would have been fired last season, if Shepherd had still been in charge, and that should come as no surprise to Newcastle fans.
Recent photo of Freddy Shepherd
This is what Freddy Shepherd has said in the Chronicle today:
“I think the Board at the time, not particularly me, with Sir John would have had him on his bike.” “Who knows the emotion he was going through?”
“I like the guy.” “I’ve met him and in normal circumstances you’d certainly have a pint with the guy, he’s fine.” “I think he just lost it that day.”
“Would he have survived if he was at Man U or Chelsea or Liverpool as boss? I doubt it.” “He’s got six years left on his contract and that must have been an influence.”
“But there will be a lot of clauses in there.” “The guy has taken a lot of stick.” “The biggest thing is he will never be forgotten for it.” “He will always be ‘the guy that headbutted that Hull player’.
“He’s got it for the rest of his life.”
Maybe there was good reason to fire Pardew after the Hull City debacle, but with the former regime, Pardew would have been gone last season after losing to Reading at home in January, and that was our 10th defeat in 13 league games – and Shepherd fired managers for much better records than that.
While Shepherd was the Newcastle Chairman from December 1997, through when Ashley bought the club in the summer of 2007, he sacked Kenny Dalglish, Ruud Gullit, Sir Bobby Robson, Graeme Souness and Glenn Roeder in that order – with Robson lasting five years at Newcastle, and that was a lot longer than any of the other four managers .
The other four all lasted 18 months or less.
One of the problems with Freddy Shepherd’s reign at Newcastle was that manager turnover, and it’s hard to build a team when managers are fired regularly – as Sunderland are now finding out.
Kenny Dalglish, Ruud Gullit and Sir Bobby Robson were also fired early in the season, after they had brought in players in the previous summer transfer window, and the problem with that is the new manager may not rate those players.
That happened at Sunderland last year too.
Glenn Roeder was fired in May, 2007, but that was before Mike Ashley bought the club, and Freddy Shepherd has already appointed Sam Allardyce as the new manager.
To be fair to Shepherd, the sackings while he was Chairman, were brought about because of the club’s great ambitions in those days – which were to be in the Champions League every season.
But we have very little ambition these days under Mike Ashley – to be a top ten club in the PL seems so tame – at best – compared to the heady days when Bobby Robson and Kevin Keegan were managing the club.
And the fact that Alan Pardew now has another poor run going – 10 losses in the last 15 league games – seems more reason for Mike Ashley to bring in a new manager at the end of the season.
But that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, although you can never predict what Mike Ashley is thinking, since he never ever talks to the fans.