Whilst driving in the car the other Sunday morning (a week before West Ham) for work, I happened to hear the interview on radio five live with Freddy Shepherd.

I was interested to hear what he had to say, or more importantly, what he didn’t say, as Freddy is always good for a quote on the radio or any other interview for that matter.

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Asked if he had met Ashley since the takeover he said “No”, then pushed on what he would say to him if he met him…all he would say is “Good Morning”. Now I know that Shepherd didn’t want to sell, after all you don’t sell the golden goose. But it struck me there was clearly bad blood there, not that surprising. It was actually the fact he wouldn’t comment any further really and just said that Ashley had his own way of running the club, as if we didn’t know that “BADLY”.

I then started thinking about the ramblings of our previous manager, and the delusion of our present head (less) coach and what it actually means, other than insanity.

It’s no secret that when Ashley put up the club for sale the first time, there was a lot of talk from the club that any potential buyer would have to sign a confidentiality clause, meaning Ashley could disclose his side and they could not say anything about the state of how they found the club, this clause would have been inserted in perpetuity. This then means that the true facts about the sale could never be disclosed for fear of legal action by Ashley.

If when selling the club Ashley inserts the clause, it is not inconceivable that the clause or clauses were inserted when he bought the club. Which would explain the avoidance of Freddy to answer or condemn the way in which Ashley runs the club, even if he knew or wanted to make a derisory comment about the running of the club. It would also explain the comments by Sir John Hall that Ashley is doing a good job and get behind the team, he can’t say any different.

It is safe to assume that these clauses are inserted into the contracts of those in the payment of Ashley at Newcastle United, which is why with Pardew and Carver the excuses change all the time as they cannot, or dare not, point the finger at the real culprit.

This however doesn’t fully exempt them from the dreadful team selection and tactics that a blind man with a pin could improve on. Why in all this have I not mentioned Charnley, that’s quite simple, he does few interviews and toes the party line, if he does say something it is generally put out in text form and has been gone over by Ashley’s lawyers.

The other comment that Freddy Shepherd made, was that he thought if relegation (had) happened that Ashley would sell up. Whilst I personally would be glad to see the back of him, the thought did cross my mind that what if before he sells it, whilst in the championship (when/if we get there under Ashley) he takes his interest free loan of £120m out in a lump sum and leaves no room to buy any players for the squad rebuild, that is required after probably most of the present first team squad would go.

Just a thought.



  • amacdee

    It was only after Fatman bought the club and found the “hidden” debt that he banned both Shepherd and Hall from attending SJP in their own private boxes. 
    So whether he had the foresight to gag them beforehand is debatable but Hall told us all that Fatman wanted to promote his sports tat brand and wanted to use NUFC as the vehicle. Unfortunately we had no idea how much he’d promote his shops to the detriment of NUFC.

  • Chemical Dave

    “Hidden debt” ? It is illegal not to declare loans in a transfer of undertakings….nowt was hidden.

  • amacdee

    Chemical Dave Call it what you will but we all know Fatman failed to dig deep into the finances before he bought the club. The mortgage on the stadium had to be repaid, after changing owners, which was a major surprise to the Fatman. 

    Fat Freddie said “When he took over, what he didn’t realise was that he had to pay off the
    [stadium] mortgage – if the Halls lost control, the money had to be
    repaid immediately. I think he had to pay around £57m. There was a
    clause in the contract that if the Halls ever lost control, that money
    had to be repaid straightaway.”

  • Andgeo

    100%! Hall has definitely

  • Kevin Halliday

    this might explain a lot. Have lost a lot of respect for SJH as he sold us all down the river (after he gave us the best NUFC team since the fifties, mind), and he screwed over Freddie Shepherd who may never have been the most astute club owner, but at least would roll the dice come what may. Better owner/custodian of the club than the lard-arsed spiv we’ve ended up with.

  • Morpethmag

    Who told your he didn’t know about the finances? It’s all come from him and his minions, I don’t believe that for one minute, he knew everything and bought the clubs as an advertising tool, nothing else,,,

  • LeazesEnder

    Well Ashley renamed the Sir John Hall Stand, and it went by the Chronicle without a sound….. nothing was said by anyone….

    …. Not a squeak from the man himself….

    I’m not complaining though

  • DownUnderMag

    Hall and Shepherd were no saints, but at least we had the joy of trying to compete under them while they bled out all the money they could from the club, the money pit to the owner still hasn’t changed but now we don’t even get the enjoyment of a team trying to win that elusive cup or qualify for Europe. Shepherd in particular doesn’t seem short on words whenever he’s asked for an interview and wants some time in the spotlight, but I agree he seems to avoid any outright criticism of Ashley beyond the usual “fans deserve a better team blah blah…”

  • toon tony

    Watching Goals on Sunday a few weeks after Pardew left for Palace and he’d won a few games, he was asked about his time at Newcastle. He started to say the team needed investment and it was hard to run a club with financial restrictions, then he suddenly changed mid sentence to the GOVERNMENT needs to make serious financial input to the REGION. I couldn’t believe he changed just like that.I was expecting the media /The Mag to pick up on it. !!!

  • BrianKD

    Oh for an owner with a heart for the Geordies than one with a one with a one colder than the basalt rock that Bamburgh castle stands on.