Goodnight said Fred

By Lee Ryder on Jul 24, 07 07:34 PM

It's the news that thousands of fans have been dreaming about for almost nine years.

Freddy Shepherd is history at St James’ Park.

The role of chairman was always going to be a difficult one to follow MetroCentre tycoon Sir John Hall and there have been plenty of ups and downs since the Geordie chief stepped down.

Unfortunately for Newcastle United’s incredible support there have been more downs that ups.

Ever since Freddy was caught out by a Sunday newspaper he has been skating on thin ice.

Along with Douglas Hall he caused an outcry when he insulted every single Geordie on the planet by referring to local woman as dogs, humiliating Alan Shearer by calling him Mary Poppins and ridiculing the Toon Army for splashing out hundreds of pounds on club merchandise.

Other lowlights must be the bad handling of Sir Bobby Robson’s departure and a series of failed managerial appointments that have moved the club backwards since Kevin Keegan almost won the title in 1996.

To ensure a little bit of fairness Shepherd probably picked the best men available at the time in his eyes but the failings of the likes of Dalglish, Gullit and Souness could not have been more dramatic.

And had it not been for Alan Shearer and Shay Given who knows where the club would have ended up.

Shepherd always did his best in the transfer market to recapture the Hall years but even the signing of Michael Owen could not save the club from another disaster.

The arrival of Mike Ashley has restored faith for many fans and we can only hope he is at the club for the right reasons.

He knows as much about Geordie life as Osama Bin Laden but he also knows a lot about running a business successfully and that will do for most United fans for now.

But despite four signings in the bag for Big Sam we are yet to see a convincing signing after rumblings that a big name was on the way.

Now with Freddy gone surely this is the time for Ashley and chairman Chris Mort to prove he has well and truly arrived on Tyneside.

The only way for him to do this is to bring in the players the fans deserve and finally get the Toon Army singing in full voice once again.

What do you think?


pratik said:

Yea well said.

I think Freddy tried his best to be fair..Luck just didnt side him..He signed Owen who stayed injured until he left his post..Shearer retired mid way through..Ruud Gullit and Souness were proven good mangers to an extent until they flopped at Newcastle dramatically...

Lets hope Ashley takes as back to the old days when once 32 games down in the season Newcastle led the table with a 8 pt margin!! How we want those days back!!

Show them uve arrived Mike!

mag in boro said:

freddie should have been remembered as part of the team that saved us from the mckeag nightmare but will always be half of a double act who insulted every geordie.
so bye fred glad to see the back of you

Luke said:

A lot of good noises surrounding Big Sam's methods, so given time, does look like he'll progress our club's fortunes on the pitch.
What's significant also of course, is that from a commercial perspective, and if you have a look at the successful deals done on a commercial perspective by Ashley with Mort's assistance, we've now also got two very astute business types leading the boardroom. Strategically, would agree that the new owners would look to stamp their "We've arrived!" stamp on proceedings by helping Big Sam bring in one or two top players before this transfer window closes.
Looking forward to it.

Rob -- Baku Azerbaijan said:

So Fred has gone and left the building, albeit with a nice fat bundle tucked away in a swiss bank account most likely, he was never going to recover or assume creditability after his and Douglas Halls remarks.Yes he put money on the table for his managers but never really understood or listened to what the supporters wanted, maybe he would have still been in the job had he done so!
We can only hope this new duo in charge take us forward and upward and give Sam the necessary backing and funding to realise the supporters dreams. Like everyone else i have my season ticket in pocket and really looking forward to the start of the season, Sam has my support as does the players we have so far and with new ones pencilled in i am sure things will be on the up.

Derek said:

24th July 2007 will go down as a turning point for our club - the day Shepherd left. All sane supporters will celebrate the date for yrs to come. Shepherd was an unmitigated disaster, an embarrassment every time he opened his mouth - and almost every time he opened OUR cheque book. It's almost impossible to imagine the decline he has presided over since that fateful day John Hall stepped down having come within a whisker of the premiership title and taken us way beyond Liverpool, Arsenal Chelsea & Spurs. The arrogance of the man was unbelievable - he didn't need the CEO's or the scouting networks of those clubs mentioned, no, he would do it all himself. It was no secret that he signed a lot of players his managers didn't want but his greatest failing was his selection of those managers. The main responsibility of the top man is to ensure the appointment of outstanding people to the key jobs in the organisation (then let them do those jobs) and to ensure the ongoing competitive health of the organisation. In this he was a complete and utter failure. This is how he will, rightly, be remembered.

Martin H said:

FS says that his biggest regret is that the club did not win 1 trophy in his ten years in charge. Forget sacking robson and appointing souness. forget getting caught out by newspapers doing things that effect the club in all the wrong ways - they're all only minor regrets for him. Idiot.

Chris said:

How did Freddy and Doug insult every Geordie on the planet when they referred to local woman as dogs, called Shearer Mary Poppins and ridiculed the Toon Army for splashing out hundreds of pounds on club merchandise?

I'm a Geordie and I did not find that insulting one bit.

Mind you I am a Sunderland fan!

neil said:

I,m glad to see the back of him, especially after the insulting remarks he made about our woman and the toon fans. He should have gan years ago. Anyway tomorrow marks a new era at SJP with the toon army up against the best fans on the planet.

coffeejohnny said:

A word in Freddy's Defence


sorry can't think of one

john gilroy said:

Well, it looks like Dyer is moving on, good news for Spurs or West Ham. Both these clubs have spent lavishly as it would appear Man. City will do. My problem is that any optimism I may have felt on Big Sam’s appointment is rapidly diminishing.We are not keeping up with the big spenders in the premiership. So far we have spent £2M net and not seen any of the big spending that the Ashley take-over would have led us to anticipate. Can we finish higher in the premiership than last year, not at this rate


Richie. S Tyneside said:

Absolutely delighted this bloated buffoon is gone. He made us the laughing stock of the football world and helped squander our cash (not his). Still, he walks away with a massive financial handshake. Makes you sick when you consider all those wasted years. Hope we never see him or his cronies again. New start, with professionals in charge and although Ashley and Mort haven't got a magic wand, I'll take our chances with those two over and above that clown any day of the week.

toonfanbill said:

I am now 50 years old, man and boy I have spent and spent what I could afford on Newcastle United. That must be a lot of money over the years? Yet like thousands of other Geordies, I have travelled the length and berth of the land, some times ecstatically but mostly with sadness. Mr Shephard and his likes have sat on massive salaries and all the perks that go with the status of the position of a bord member.While I have sat in the rain, drank bovril hoping that my beloved team would be worth following and most importantly win something. If I had behaved at work like Mr Shephard had done in a town in Spain along with Mr D Hall, I would have been sacked, not promoted.

Bye Bye Fred, your not as popular with the fans as you may believe. toonfanbill

brainwashed said:

Well, our new owner has lost £150 million in one day for the people who entrusted him with their investments and has lost them about £500 million in six months. It's great to have a top businessman to run NUFC! Hope his own losses of around £250 million weren't the cash for new players.

Trav said:

Lets hope Freddies appointment of Big Sam proves to be the best decision he makes whilst in charge at SJP...

We can only hope and have faith that the new management can use their so called business nous to steer the club in the right direction and re-connect the links with the supporters...

in other words lets hope Ashley and Mort put money into establishing a genuine world class youth academy, support Big Sam and if need be make a "big" signing, leave the aquisition of players and selling of players to Sam and finally not look to make a quick buck at the expense of the club itself...

Gam said:

Er, pratik, bad luck had nothing to do with the decline of NUFC under Shepherd, and everything to do with gross incompetence. However, never forget that SJH is equally culpable in that he left the club in the hands of someone who was clearly way, way out of his depth. And as for the signings of players like Michael Owen - this was akin to a lick of paint on rotten woodwork. Completely short-sighted, inappropriate and bad use of the fans' money (never his!!).
Good riddance Shepherd.

Duncan Baines said:

I hardly think Souness was 'the best man availible at the time'! Blackburn were heading for relegation when he left them and remember how easily we beat his Blackburn side 3-0 in the game Carver was in temporary charge for.

M Green said:

A Geordie Sun'lun fan?
I had thought that like, the not too disimilar Dodo, that that breed was extinct.

It's a bit like working in a 'cordon bleu' restaurant and popping out at lunch time for a donna kebab :)

Still I always thought Freddie Shepherd as more of a fish 'n' chips type of guy anyway so good riddance to him.

Bob Taylor of Shire said:

I think Freddy did bring in what he thought were best managers for the job at the time, but they never delivered, was this totally his fault I'm not sure. He hasn't helped himself with the daft comments he's made over the years, but too be honest I'm not sure if that would really affect the football being played on the pitch at the time. I think that I like the majority of fans on Tyneside are glad to see the back of him not because of a few daft comments, but just because this is what the club needs a fresh start and new direction.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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