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.