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Archive for tag: Freddy Shepherd.

When owning Newcastle United, what’s love got to do with it?

June 30th, 2009 | 40 Comments |

Coloccini, try this mop on for size.
Coloccini, try this mop on for size.
You’ve got to laugh, haven’t you? Or else you’d probably cry and have some sort of emotional breakdown. How much is it to ask for a little normality in our NUFC lives? Why aren’t we only concerning ourselves with potential transfer targets and travel arrangements for pre-season friendlies?

I find it hard to see when we can get back to being what we’re supposed to be. A well-supported club, with fans who have a modicum of decency, humility, self-deprecating humour and expectations at a manageable level. Oh yes, and owners who are capable and care about the club and about us. Or maybe we’ve never had that and I really am deluded but for reasons different to those we’re normally criticised for? Either way, that’s all I’m asking for, honestly.

I’m an only-child so perhaps I’m a little selfish but I don’t think I’m asking for the world. (more…)


Will Freddy return to Newcastle United?

June 29th, 2009 | 12 Comments |

Could it be a nightmare?
Could it be a nightmare?
According to yesterday’s Sunday Mirror (don’t snigger), Ashley will receive two bids for the club this week. Apparently Freddy Krueger Shepherd is one of the bidders and the other is believed to have Geordie roots but overseas finance.

The Mirror reports that neither bid is for the £100m Ashley wants but will be somewhere around the £80-90m mark. Apparently due diligence has already been performed and the deal could be finalised within a few weeks.

There may be some truth in this but the Mirror’s report looks a bit suspicious. There were no direct quotes and there weren’t even any ‘sources close to the club’ or ‘insiders’ mentioned in the report. It has all the look of an inventive guess by a bored journalist.

Nevertheless it’s raising the frightening prospect of Freddy Shepherd taking over the club again, which is a fairly depressing thought. We’re stuck between a rock and hard place: is it better to carry on ownerless or is it better to have Freddy Shepherd take over? That’s like someone saying you must lose either an arm or a leg but you can choose which. Neither prospect is appealing and I hope a third option emerges as the eventual solution. (more…)


The so-called “Arsenal model”.

June 25th, 2009 | 33 Comments |

No, not that sort of Arsenal model!
No, not that sort of model!
As I was sat at my breakfasting table this morning, fending off a dog and two cats who had designs on my bacon sandwich, my thoughts turned to the subject of models. Not the size zeros that act as clothes pegs on the catwalk though – I’m talking about football club models.

In Mike Ashley’s statement following the Keegan departure, he tried to defend what he called his ‘Arsenal Model’ for the club but, as the last bit of my bacon sandwich disappeared into a grateful dog, I realised I was a bit bemused by what the Arsenal Model actually is.

In terms of finances, I can only see two models for a football club. Either you look to make a profit (or at least break-even) or you have an owner with deep pockets who doesn’t mind funding things at a loss. If you’re going to try and make a profit then it makes sense to look for young up and coming players you can get at a decent price who either give you good value for money as your future stars or you sell them on at a profit. There are ‘in between’ scenarios where for example you might borrow some money against future success but ultimately you either make a profit or have a rich owner who doesn’t care. I am not sure how clubs like Liverpool, who reputedly owe many millions, are going to achieve financial balance. (more…)


Zen and the art of supporting Newcastle United.

June 23rd, 2009 | 107 Comments |

Kwai Chang NUFC
Kwai Chang NUFC
I was quite upset a few weeks ago when David Carradine died. I was an avid fan of the ‘Kung Fu’ TV series in the 70’s, so it was a shock to read that Kwai Chang Caine is no more. I particularly liked the way he used to preach pacifism, tranquility and peace but always ended up kicking ten bells out of someone before the end of the programme.

Kwai Chang Caine was a Shaolin Monk of the Zen Buddhist persuasion and such people believe that all suffering in life is caused by craving and expectations. If you don’t crave anything you won’t suffer when you don’t get it, if you see what I mean.

Bear with me, I’m getting on-topic now.

It is fair to say that Newcastle United supporters could teach Zen Monks a thing or two about suffering. Since the era of Sir Bobby Robson – and possibly even before that – things have been steadily getting worse for our club, mainly, I’d venture to suggest, because it has been run by clowns. First it was Freddie Shepherd rigging up the bucket of water to fall on our heads and then it was Mike Ashley ensuring we were never short of a custard pie in the face. Oh how we laughed, and so on and so forth.

But you know all that. What I’m wondering is what constitutes a realistic set of expectations from here on? (more…)


Do I hear £100m?

June 18th, 2009 | 11 Comments |

Freddy Shepherd
Fat Freddy: Still looming over the club.
Reports coming through from questionable sources that Ashley has received his first bid for the club. It’s not clear yet what that bid is or indeed which of the alleged parties in the consortia have lodged it and obviously whether or not it’s a legitimate bid.

It’s implied that it could well be The Profitable Group, who were thought to have ungrounded optimism in recent weeks but who have now been associated with Freddy Shepherd, probably a link made by journalists to the ‘local people’ involved with their company.

As with all speculation about this club and particularly under this regime, it’s always healthy to have a huge bag of salt to throw on rumours. However, there’s generally no smoke without fire so even if the details are wide of the mark, there’s a good chance that something is happening. (more…)