Betway betting sites banner

All aboard the gravy train again?

Posted on June 8th, 2009 | 49 Comments |

Fat Fred return?
Fat Fred return?
If rumours are to be believed that devil incarnate, FFS is trying to get his grubby paws back on NUFC again, surprise surprise. Not content with making over £45m from NUFC during his last tenure – £37m for his 28% stake in the club when it was sold to Mike Ashley, adding to the £8m in wages and dividends earned before then; It is alleged that he wants to pick up the club on the cheap with his eye firmly on making some dosh.

Freddie constantly quotes how NUFC thrived under his chairmanship and he left the club in great shape. In fact he worked as a lesser known director while Sir John Hall was running the show during the golden era when the club was transformed. He took over the chairmanship from Sir John Hall when the club was second in the premiership, competing in the Champions league, we were most people’s second club, and we were making money. By the time he left, the club had just finished the season lying in 13th position in the league, controversy and unrest was rife, Shepherd had been widely ridiculed and we were significantly in debt. Think he may be looking back with rose tinted glasses…

Just a reminder of some of his higher profile activities:

• Sacked SBR a few weeks into a new season when we had finished 5th in the league even though SBR had an agreement to leave at the end of that season with his head held high. Instead embarrassment for the elder statesman.

• As drink flowed in Marbella while visiting various brothels and strip joints, FFS and Douglas Hall boasted to an undercover reporter posing as a Sheik, of “ripping off” fans who paid £50 for replica shirts that cost £5 to make, called the women of Newcastle “dogs,” and claimed the star player Alan Shearer was as “boring as Mary Poppins”. After invoking both local and national outrage, initially the pair were reluctant to resign but were forced into it after two weeks of relentless negative media coverage. Yet, just ten months after resigning, Shepherd and Douglas Hall, the majority shareholders at Newcastle, voted themselves back on to the board. This led to the immediate resignation of the PLC chairman David Cassidy, who had taken the position just six months earlier. Shepherd then went on to take over as PLC chairman.

• Filled his pockets with over £8m in wages and dividends and received £37m for his 28% stake in the club from Ashley.

• In his 2005 autobiography Sir Bobby Robson provides detailed criticism of Shepherd’s chairmanship, claiming that while manager he was denied information regarding the players’ contracts and transfer negotiations.

• Graeme Souness, recently insisted that “one man and one man alone decided what player came to the club and what player left – and it wasn’t the manager. It was the chairman”.

• Shepherd courted controversy in a speech at the 2004 Dubai Soccerex international football forum, stating that large and successful clubs should not be concerned about those struggling at the lower end of the industry. Shepherd said “When we have got 52,000 fans at each home game, the last thing we are worried about is clubs in the third division,” and added, “There is no sympathy here”.

What are your views on the potential return of FFS?

NUFCBlog Author: geordie deb geordie deb has written 38 articles on this blog.

Related Posts:


49 Responses

  1. When the rumours of a ‘local interest’ started circulating, FFS started to appear as a large, unfriendly blob on the radar didn’t he?

    Let’s just hope the radar’s malfunctioning.

  2. Ashley is trying to make himself even more popular i see.

    Alan Shearer is hoping a north-east buyer will take over Newcastle and keep alive his hopes of being named permanent Magpies boss – as current owner Mike Ashley does not think he should get the job.
    Full story: The Sun

  3. ESAMIM, have you seen a direct quote from Ashley or Shearer about Ashley’s supposed lack of favour for Shearer?

    All I can find is the quote from Harris: “Whether Alan is the right man to lead the club back into the Premier League is something other people will express a view on.”

    It may be true. Perhaps Ashley doesn’t favour Shearer but I’m wary of the press stirring things up with their ‘sources close to ..’ rubbish.

  4. What’s the problem with Shpeherd making £37m from selling his shares?

    He had every right to make the money as he bought the shares in the first place and then sold them when Ashley bought the club.

    I sometimes wonder whether he should have been paid however.

    I must say I’ve come to the conclusion that I would be glad if Stalin bought the club with Hitler as Chairman at the minute.

    Just when you think Ashley couldn’t make more of a cok up he keeps suprising us. Is he really a Mackem?

    Either way get out and somebody, anybody rescue this club from absolute disaster!

  5. SSN are reporting that a statement is due to be released from Ashley re the sale of the club.

    Probably changed his mind!

  6. Stuart,

    Personally I have no problem with FFS making money out of the club (and other people would have been complicit in his earnings anyway).

    What I have a problem with is that he was putting the club into debt while he was making all that money.

  7. Shepherd took loads of money out of the club during his tenure at the club and wants back in just to line his own pockets. Selling up was not a problem. No direct quotes on that story Hugh but i suppose we will find out later on today if there is anything in that story.

  8. All they have to do is persuade a bank to lend them £100m + operating costs until they turn a profit.

    Is there still a bank that likes to say yes? Try them and see if their advertising stands up.

  9. well i might get in touch with a bid of £1 if Ashley has not sold up by the end of the month. he might be getting desperate then.

  10. Stuart 79

    ‘What’s the problem with Shpeherd making £37m from selling his shares?

    He had every right to make the money as he bought the shares in the first place and then sold them when Ashley bought the club.’

    I don’t have a problem with people earning money when they have invested significantly in the club but my understanding is that he put in very little and walked away with his 37m plus 2 years salary of £1m when the club were in debt. That is in addition to the salary and dividends being paid that they awarded to themselves and family members. If the club was riding high would anyone care to much but they weren’t. They all had their noses firmly in the trough and he clearly wants to come back for more.

  11. Geordie Deb put the point across better than i did. Thats what i think about Shepherd too.

  12. Deb,

    You say he put very little into the club but walked away with a load of cash.

    That’s why you buy shares. It’s not his fault that the shares went up during his time and Ashley paid him more than they were worth.

    I agree he made a pigs ear of it but he bought the shares so he had the right to make mone from them.

    Don’t forget that almost every business is run with a debt. Hence the reason why so many big name high street businesses are going into administration.

    Sports Direct has debts in access of £250m which is strange considering Ashley’s debt aversion when it came to NUFC.

  13. ESAMIN

    It will be interesting if there is any truth in the rumours/stiring from our pals in the media regarding Ashley and Shearer. If you were Ashley what would you do?

  14. @ Geordie Deb – be honest with the man. if you dont want him to have the job tell him to his face.

    @ Stuart – its not selling his shares that he got most of his money from he was taking money out of the club to line his own pockets. its why the club were in such a bad state when Ashley took over.

  15. I think that all this in the papers about Ashley and Shearer is total rubbish!

    How can Ashley appoint someone if the club is to be sold in weeks? He can’t!

    Their probably both laughing at the media now. Shearer will know he can’t be appointed.

    He’s a shrewed guy and I wouldn’t be suprised if he has an agreement with a potential new owner. Mrtin O’neil had the same agreement with Randy Lerner before he took over.

  16. Stuart
    I agree with your point about the shares ofcourse. I just find him morally corrupt. Everything was just too cozy. His close friendship with Paul Stretford the agent, not allowing managers to see or get involved in players contracts or negotiations, his son doing precisley what at the club, the police enquiry, dodgey accounting practises, being paid dividends when the club was losing money, treating the same fans with contempt for helping line his pockets with their hard earned cash etc etc
    I just hope we never see his face there again but like the proverbial bad penny….

  17. geordie deb you are right aboot the transfers like they reckon deportivo got aboot 5 mill for luque

  18. I would even keep ashley ahead of fat fred!

    Just want this mess sorted out so we can make some sort of challenege next season , have a horribel feeling its going to be a long stay in the fizzy pop league for us

  19. Freddy Shepherd on “dignity” (from a Guardian piece)

    “…Freddy Shepherd says Mike Ashley lacks dignity. “He can run Newcastle the way he wants, but it’s not the way I’d do it. You’ve got to look at it calmly and clearly … you’ve got to have some dignity.”

    (1998, Spanish brothel, News of the World … “Newcastle fans are mugs … and the girls are all dogs! Me, I like blondes, big bust, good legs. I don’t like coloured girls. I want a lesbian show with handcuffs.”)

  20. Workeyticket

    ‘Freddy Shepherd on “dignity” (from a Guardian piece)

    “…Freddy Shepherd says Mike Ashley lacks dignity. “He can run Newcastle the way he wants, but it’s not the way I’d do it. You’ve got to look at it calmly and clearly … you’ve got to have some dignity.”

    (1998, Spanish brothel, News of the World … “Newcastle fans are mugs … and the girls are all dogs! Me, I like blondes, big bust, good legs. I don’t like coloured girls. I want a lesbian show with handcuffs.”)’

    Nearly choked on my coffee reading that. The absolute gall of the blo*dy man. He has no idea what dignity means let alone ever demonstrating any. Despite all his massive failings I would stick with Ashley rather than ever see that toerag have any power in SJP again.
    Workeyticket that little gem has really wound me up!

  21. Back to civilisation!

    “geordie deb says:
    June 8, 2009 at 10:25 am (Edit)
    Stuart
    I agree with your point about the shares ofcourse. I just find him morally corrupt. Everything was just too cozy. His close friendship with Paul Stretford the agent, not allowing managers to see or get involved in players contracts or negotiations, his son doing precisley what at the club, the police enquiry, dodgey accounting practises, being paid dividends when the club was losing money, treating the same fans with contempt for helping line his pockets with their hard earned cash etc etc
    I just hope we never see his face there again but like the proverbial bad penny….”

    Perfectly put – oh yes – and the 8m we “paid” will be careful about what I say there – for Jean Alain Boumsong, 6 months after we could have signed him for FREE.

  22. I played the worst I have played in my life Deb – but all the same had a fantastic time, take me days to get over a weekend away though – might feel human again by Wednesday lol

  23. Shepherd and Sir Bobby Robson

    (from http://www.nufcmismanagement.info)

    “At that point Newcastle had just finished 5th in the league and had reached the UEFA Cup semi-final.

    Just before the start of season 2004/05 our then Chairman came out and announced that the 12 month Roll-on contract of Bobby Robson would not be renewed. What followed that announcement was so predictable to everybody except Shepherd. The players knew that they would probably be at the club long after the manager. With that knowledge the players knew that if something kicked off then the manager would probably be the one to lose out. Sir Alex Ferguson had announced that he was going to retire and had to publicly change his mind because players were no longer performing for him. Ferguson himself admitted that the decision to pre-announce his retirement had resulted in a negative effect on the players and on his ability to impose discipline. The same thing happened at Newcastle and that is down to nobody other than Shepherd and possibly Douglas Hall.

    Robson had a terrible time after that announcement and before the start of the new season, the club was in turmoil as the manager denied any knowledge that this was to be his last season, while Shepherd told the press that Robson knew that it was to be his last season. Kieron Dyer was dropped to the bench for refusing to play on the right wing although this was first denied and described as “utter rubbish” by Sir Bobby Robson. The players were also hit by a bout of conjunctivitis that had taken out every fit central defender at the club, Woodgate had recently been sold and his replacement was still to arrive. Robson had actually been called into see Shepherd thinking that a central defender had been signed, little was he to know that this would be the last time he would go to St James’ Park as manager of Newcastle United. Robson has said that he would have liked to have been involved in identifying his successor but that wasn’t to be. Identifying his successor was down to Shepherd and again, possibly Douglas Hall as Sir John was no longer involved with the running of the club and what a spectacular failure the appointment turned out to be.”

  24. Glad you had a nice time BTW Stardust.

    Deb, how did your weekend go? Weren’t you away some thing somewhere?

  25. Glad you enjoyed your golf Stardust.

    My golf is *always* terrible. Then again, I only play 2 or 3 times a year these days (not that it was very good when I used to play once a week either).

  26. Thats my trouble Hugh – Ive always been a 2 to 5 times a year player too – Im quite sporty so I have shot a number of 76’s and usually low 80’s , but I have lost my “edge” – a bit like falling off a cliff lol. I shot 4 x high 90’s.

    Anyway – I enjoyed the free-fall lol. (p.s. if anyone knows where I can buy any new “edge” any ideas would be appreciated lol)

  27. Oh no! It’s the “prawn stotty brigade” chatting about their golf handicaps! What is this blog coming to? :-)

  28. With apologies to Workey, I also just about manage to scrape into the high 90’s on a good day and well into 3 figures on a bad day, although I was never much better than the low-mid 90’s anyway.

    The occasional round in the 80’s was a rarity for me.

  29. BBM, I know what you mean.

    I stopped playing golf regularly because I got ‘bitten’ by the golf bug. I kept wanting to improve and got frustrated when I didn’t.

    I then sat back and had a look at things and decided that I wasn’t *that* keen on the game and actually enjoyed the social aspect of it more than anything.

    So now I just meet up with a bunch of a mates a few times a year, play a bit of golf and get hideously drunk.

    I should point out that we usually manage to wait until after the golf to get hideously drunk, although there was that one time …

  30. Hi Workey

    No I was at home. Off to France in the morning for a conference/exhibition back Friday. Unfortunately I had a blonde moment and agreed to a request to hire a boat to take approx 100 french customers out for an evening dinner/drinks thing. Looked nice in the brochure with the sun shining down but the latest weather forecast doesn’t look great so it could well be sick bags at the ready (sorry folks)after dinner! Oh joy of joys…

  31. Stardust

    Thats good to know. I’ve no idea what kind of boat it is – I haven’t got the foggiest idea about boats but I’m going to say a really girly thing now – it looked nice!