Freddy Shepherd was interviewed by talkSPORT a few days ago, in what was called an exclusive, and he had some interesting things to say about Newcastle United, the club he was Chairman at for ten years from December of 1997 though August of 2007, after Mike Ashley had bought the club.
Freddy Shepherd – former Newcastle United Chairman
Shepherd was speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show late last week, and even defended Alan Pardew:
“If you don’t give the guy the right ammunition, he’s not going to win.¨ “I’m the last one to tell them to start changing managers because I had quite a few in my time there. Sometimes you have got to bite the bullet though. Where Pardew is concerned, if you don’t give him the money to buy players, then you are going to get into trouble.¨
“Newcastle must buy players in the close season. Pardew has been told to achieve tenth position, at worst, and he has done what he was asked to do.” “The best manager in the world is not going to be successful if he isn’t given the money and the right players.”
“I’m not bragging but I think a bit of stardust left the club when John Hall and myself left (you are bragging)¨ There’s something missing there at the club and I think the supporters will agree with that.¨
“I don’t think Mike Ashley would welcome me back, it would be too much of a setback for him, but it certainly needs someone there who could revive the club.¨ “You can never say never, as I have said many times before. I would have to look at the situation if he wasn’t there.”
In fact it’s something we have thought about – that Freddy Shepherd could possibly return to Newcastle with Mike Ashley still the owner.
And at least Freddy would provide some real ambition, and if he was able to abide by the money allowed to be spent at the club by Ashley, maybe he could do some good.
Freddy wouldn’t be controlling the finances, which he wasn’t good at in any case, when he was Newcastle Chairman, but he would provide some local ambition at the club – which has been sadly missing in the Mike Ashley era.
But the reality is that Shepherd and Ashley just don’t see eye to eye, and it simply wouldn’t work – and there are probably still some lingering upsets about the way Ashley bought the shares from Freddy, when he was sick, as we recall.
But we need some local pride and ambition at the club somewhere – and we dare say if Shepherd was employed by Ashley, it could be received positively by Newcastle fans.
We didn’t think Freddy did a good job financially when he ran Newcastle United, but that’s not what’s needed now – the finances are in very good shape – something Ashley does very well at.
What we need now is some real Geordie ambition, and Freddie has that – and we need some (very) good players so we can translate that financial health to having a very good team on the pitch.