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A Third Party Profile of Freddie Shephard


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The profile of Freddie Shepherd at Wikipedia makes for interesting reading as its a balanced third party review. I particularly like the bit about his brother Bruce being the brains behind the family business, it seems the Fat Controller cannot even take the credit for the success of his own business.

 

I have never been fond of FS, and in the early days of a previous incarnation of this forum, I was roundly criticised by most for supporting Sir Bobby Robson and trying to open peoples eyes to the shortcomings of the Chairman. Anyway, the Wiki article below makes interesting reading.....

 

 

 

Freddy Shepherd

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Freddy Shepherd is a businessman and chairman of Newcastle United, best known for bringing Michael Owen to the club in 2005. In 1998, he became infamous for making disparaging comments about his own club's supporters in a tabloid newspaper. Shepherd has also courted controversy among football fans by sacking legendary manager Bobby Robson and replacing him with Graeme Souness, then in charge of a struggling Blackburn, and also for insisting that big clubs have no responsibility towards lower league clubs. On Saturday 4th November 2006, after the Newcastle United defeat against Sheffield United, fans held a protest outside the main entrance of St. James' Park calling for Shepherd and the board to be sacked, calling chants of "Sack The Board" and "Shepherd Out."

 

Contents [hide]

1 Background

2 News of the World Exposé

3 Finances

4 Sacking of Bobby Robson

5 Lower Leagues Controversy

6 Newcastle Supporter Protest

7 External links

8 See also

 

 

 

Background

Before achieving wide-spread recognition at Newcastle United, Shepherd had established his reputation as part-owner of a successful business. Along with his brother, Bruce, and business partner Neil McGurk, he jointly owns Shepherd Offshore, a marine and offshore services company based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Bruce, also an NUFC board member, is widely believed by many to be the driving force behind the family's business success and financial strength through his role as managing director of the Shepherd Offshore business.

Shepherd was a Newcastle United shareholder in the 1980s, and became part of Sir John Hall's consortium that took over the club in December 1990. By Shepherd's own account, he became involved in the takeover when Sir John Hall, a family friend, called him and suggested he speak to Hall's son, Douglas, about the club's dire financial situation[1]. The takeover was successful, and Shepherd was appointed to the board. In December 1996, Shepherd became chairman after Sir John Hall stepped down; Douglas Hall was appointed deputy chairman.

 

His general approach to running the club, as well as the ongoing fallout from the News of the World story, have earned Shepherd a number of unflattering nicknames such as "Fatty Shepherd"[2],the "Fat Controller"[3] and "Baron Greenback"[4].

 

On 20 August 2006, it was rumoured that Sir John Hall had been approached to sell his stake in the club to a private equity group called Belgravia. If the rumour is true, it is expected that Shepherd will attempt to contest the offer and may, with his existing 28% shareholding as a base, mount his own bid for control of the club.

 

 

News of the World Exposé

In March 1998, Shepherd and Douglas Hall were the target of a News of the World exposé, led by the “Fake Sheikh” Mazher Mahmood. The pair, believing Mahmood to be a wealthy Arab prince trying to set up a business deal, were caught mocking the club's own supporters for spending extortionate amounts of money on merchandise, calling female supporters “dogs”, and mocking star striker Alan Shearer by calling him the "Mary Poppins of football", all while frequenting a brothel.

 

Amidst heavy media coverage, the Newcastle Independent Supporters Association and the then Minister for Sport, Tony Banks, called for the resignation of the pair[5]. Although reports from sources close to Shepherd initially indicated he was contractually unable to resign, he and Hall had both left their posts within two weeks of the scandal breaking.

 

Only ten months after resigning, Shepherd and 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 has since taken over as PLC chairman.

 

 

Finances

Shepherd owns almost all of his Newcastle shares through Shepherd Offshore, which is run by his brother, Bruce. Unlike the Halls, who have been steadily selling off their shares since floatation in 1997, the Shepherds have increased their holding. They now own 28.01% of the club, up from about 22% in April 2005. Since 1997, the Shepherd's have made ₤8,351,298 from Newcastle United, ₤5,489,239 in share dividends and ₤2,862,059 in salaries. In 2005, Shepherd's annual salary from the club was £552,954[6].

It should be noted that, despite his undoubted unpopularity, Shepherd's handling of the club's finances[7] has never been subject to any official investigation by the stock market, fraud squad or any other agency. It can not be said, therefore, that however unpopular his management style and the dividends awarded to himself and Hall may be, that there is anything illegal about the way in which Shepherd runs Newcastle United and benefits from either his official positions or his shareholding in the club.

 

 

Sacking of Bobby Robson

In August 2004, Shepherd fired manager Bobby Robson four games in to the new season. In the week before the sacking, Shepherd was quoted as saying that Robson would not be offered a new deal at the end of the season, and that Robson would be “in the Guinness Book of Records” if he were still the manager at 73 years old[8]. It is unclear if Shepherd made his statement after consulting Robson, but Robson admits that he had an agreement with the club that he would retire at the end of the season. Robson also stresses that there was an agreement that he would not be sacked[9]. Afterwards, Shepherd said that sacking Robson was “the hardest thing I have ever done in my life”, but then added “I didn’t want to be known as the man who shot Bambi.”

 

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. He also criticised Shepherd and Douglas Hall, the club's deputy chairman, for their focus only on the first team and St James' Park, causing them to neglect less glamorous, although equally important, areas such as the training ground, youth development and talent scouts. The club's training ground has been notorious in the past, due to its unkempt state, for causing injuries to first team players.

 

 

Lower Leagues Controversy

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"[10].

 

 

Newcastle Supporter Protest

Following the defeat to Sheffield United on 4 November 2006, more than 2,000 fans protested outside St James Park, calling for his resignation[11].

 

Websites such as True Faith and United For Change are leading a supporter campaign against him.

 

 

[edit] External links

United For Change

Interview with Douglas Hall

Interview with Freddy Shepherd

Newcastle United Finances

Everything you ever wanted to know about Shepherd

Shepherd's apology to Newcastle women

Website devoted to showing an insight into NUFC finances

Newcastle Supporters Website and Messageboard

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The profile of Freddie Shepherd at Wikipedia makes for interesting reading as its a balanced third party review. I particularly like the bit about his brother Bruce being the brains behind the family business, it seems the Fat Controller cannot even take the credit for the success of his own business.

 

I have never been fond of FS, and in the early days of a previous incarnation of this forum, I was roundly criticised by most for supporting Sir Bobby Robson and trying to open peoples eyes to the shortcomings of the Chairman. Anyway, the Wiki article below makes interesting reading.....

 

I'm waiting for you to be slated by the usual suspects for this patronising, "I told you so" tripe, tbh.  :lol:

 

 

 

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Guest Cyberbats

Am I right in saying anyone can edit Wikipedia?

 

You are correct.

 

If thats the case, can either of you indicate the inacuracies in the review ??

 

I thought it may be of interest given that there is alot of unfounded supposition printed in the forum regarding Shepherds tenure at the club, what he takes from the club and the landmarks of his reign.

 

Perhaps the forum is more inclined to value posts talking about flies and dogshit these days like one of the a previous posters....

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Am I right in saying anyone can edit Wikipedia?

 

You are correct.

 

If thats the case, can either of you indicate the inacuracies in the review ??

 

I thought it may be of interest given that there is alot of unfounded supposition printed in the forum regarding Shepherds tenure at the club, what he takes from the club and the landmarks of his reign.

 

Perhaps the forum is more inclined to value posts talking about flies and dogshit these days like one of the a previous posters....

 

The irony is that the poster who mentioned flies and dogshit was straight in. bluelaugh.gif  bluelaugh.gif  bluelaugh.gif  bluelaugh.gif  bluelaugh.gif  bluelaugh.gif  bluelaugh.gif

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Am I right in saying anyone can edit Wikipedia?

 

You are correct.

 

If thats the case, can either of you indicate the inacuracies in the review ??

 

I thought it may be of interest given that there is alot of unfounded supposition printed in the forum regarding Shepherds tenure at the club, what he takes from the club and the landmarks of his reign.

 

Perhaps the forum is more inclined to value posts talking about flies and dogshit these days like one of the a previous posters....

 

Strange how you disappeared when the team was winning though .... like Ozzie the WUM as well.  bluebigeek.gif

 

 

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Bruce, also an NUFC board member, is widely believed by many to be the driving force behind the family's business success and financial strength through his role as managing director of the Shepherd Offshore business.

 

To quote Cybercats...

 

"You can usually tell when a statement has no foundation when the author starts with .... its been known....

 

What a load of hoooew !

 

I take it you think the same of a statement such as "is widely believed"?

 

Although I can imagine Bruce Shepherd editing that bit himself tbh  :lol:

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The profile of Freddie Shepherd at Wikipedia makes for interesting reading as its a balanced third party review. I particularly like the bit about his brother Bruce being the brains behind the family business, it seems the Fat Controller cannot even take the credit for the success of his own business.

 

I have never been fond of FS, and in the early days of a previous incarnation of this forum, I was roundly criticised by most for supporting Sir Bobby Robson and trying to open peoples eyes to the shortcomings of the Chairman. Anyway, the Wiki article below makes interesting reading.....

 

I'm waiting for you to be slated by the usual suspects for this patronising, "I told you so" tripe, tbh.  :lol:

 

 

 

 

It's just as irritating even when it's someone whose sentiment I agree with. ;)

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The profile of Freddie Shepherd at Wikipedia makes for interesting reading as its a balanced third party review. I particularly like the bit about his brother Bruce being the brains behind the family business, it seems the Fat Controller cannot even take the credit for the success of his own business.

 

I have never been fond of FS, and in the early days of a previous incarnation of this forum, I was roundly criticised by most for supporting Sir Bobby Robson and trying to open peoples eyes to the shortcomings of the Chairman. Anyway, the Wiki article below makes interesting reading.....

 

I'm waiting for you to be slated by the usual suspects for this patronising, "I told you so" tripe, tbh.  :lol:

 

 

 

 

It's just as irritating even when it's someone whose sentiment I agree with. ;)

 

bluebiggrin.gif

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Guest Cyberbats

 

I'm waiting for you to be slated by the usual suspects for this patronising, "I told you so" tripe, tbh.  :lol:

 

 

It must really anoy you HTL that everything I predicted for Newcastle back when you were one of the head yokels in the Bobby Robson out campaign, has actually come to pass.

 

It does appear to be a conceit, but yes, I told you so.

 

The difference between you and me is that I can see that there is going to be a train wreck before its going to happen, but you just make childish swipes at anyone with an opinion different to yours, and then moan moan moan after the wreck has happened.

 

I told you that you would not get a quality manager at Newcastle if you got rid of SBR because people of quality will just not work for our chairman. You have stated your disdain for David O'Leary many times in the past, yet even he turned down the Newcastle job, prefering to work for the enlightned Doug Ellis ! If someone would rather work for Ellis than Shepherd, what does that tell you ?

 

I told you Shepherds ego would lead him down a path of throwing money at Souness in a vane attempt to re-coup some credibility, and it would lead to financial instability at the club. Did you see the last set of accounts ?

 

Go ahead, slag me off, keep your criticisms personal as usual because the truth is, you have never been able to restrict your posts to the matter in question.

 

Enlighten me, tell me why FS has been a good Chairman, he needs all the support he can get. Why don't you put your neck on the block and start a thread supporting Shephers reign at the club. List all his glorious achievement....

 

Try and do better than... he's not Mkeag......

 

 

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I'm waiting for you to be slated by the usual suspects for this patronising, "I told you so" tripe, tbh.  :lol:

 

 

It must really anoy you HTL that everything I predicted for Newcastle back when you were one of the head yokels in the Bobby Robson out campaign, has actually come to pass.

 

It does appear to be a conceit, but yes, I told you so.

 

The difference between you and me is that I can see that there is going to be a train wreck before its going to happen, but you just make childish swipes at anyone with an opinion different to yours, and then moan moan moan after the wreck has happened.

 

I told you that you would not get a quality manager at Newcastle if you got rid of SBR because people of quality will just not work for our chairman. You have stated your disdain for David O'Leary many times in the past, yet even he turned down the Newcastle job, prefering to work for the enlightned Doug Ellis ! If someone would rather work for Ellis than Shepherd, what does that tell you ?

 

I told you Shepherds ego would lead him down a path of throwing money at Souness in a vane attempt to re-coup some credibility, and it would lead to financial instability at the club. Did you see the last set of accounts ?

 

Go ahead, slag me off, keep your criticisms personal as usual because the truth is, you have never been able to restrict your posts to the matter in question.

 

Enlighten me, tell me why FS has been a good Chairman, he needs all the support he can get. Why don't you put your neck on the block and start a thread supporting Shephers reign at the club. List all his glorious achievement....

 

Try and do better than... he's not Mkeag......

 

 

 

bluelaugh.gif

 

Robson had to go. Simple as that. The errors were

 

1. The replacement

2. He should have gone about 16 months earlier.

 

BTW I advocated giving Souness zero funds in that first transfer window. You didn't tell me anything.

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I'm waiting for you to be slated by the usual suspects for this patronising, "I told you so" tripe, tbh.  :lol:

 

 

It must really anoy you HTL that everything I predicted for Newcastle back when you were one of the head yokels in the Bobby Robson out campaign, has actually come to pass.

 

It does appear to be a conceit, but yes, I told you so.

 

The difference between you and me is that I can see that there is going to be a train wreck before its going to happen, but you just make childish swipes at anyone with an opinion different to yours, and then moan moan moan after the wreck has happened.

 

I told you that you would not get a quality manager at Newcastle if you got rid of SBR because people of quality will just not work for our chairman. You have stated your disdain for David O'Leary many times in the past, yet even he turned down the Newcastle job , prefering to work for the enlightned Doug Ellis ! If someone would rather work for Ellis than Shepherd, what does that tell you ?

 

I told you Shepherds ego would lead him down a path of throwing money at Souness in a vane attempt to re-coup some credibility, and it would lead to financial instability at the club. Did you see the last set of accounts ?

 

Go ahead, slag me off, keep your criticisms personal as usual because the truth is, you have never been able to restrict your posts to the matter in question.

 

Enlighten me, tell me why FS has been a good Chairman, he needs all the support he can get. Why don't you put your neck on the block and start a thread supporting Shephers reign at the club. List all his glorious achievement....

 

Try and do better than... he's not Mkeag......

 

 

I can tell you that only one manager was offered the job before Souness. And it wasn't O'Leary.

 

So you should stop making things up. Like others.

 

You should try telling us who you think will guarantee Champions League football and 3 consecutive top 5 finishes for the first time in over 50 years - as the best performance under Shepherd as chairman - and guantee this performance to be permanent and move upwards and win the trophies, as you appear to think this is automatic and so terrible a performance, it should be quite easy.

 

 

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I can tell you that only one manager was offered the job before Souness. And it wasn't O'Leary.

 

Souness was our second choice? That's pretty damning.

 

Who was our first choice?

 

Souness was about fourth choice iirc.

 

I seem to remember both Allardyce and Bruce turning it down, not sure about O'Dreary.

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I can tell you that only one manager was offered the job before Souness. And it wasn't O'Leary.

 

Souness was our second choice? That's pretty damning.

 

Who was our first choice?

 

Think availability...... :lol: which is hardly rocket science.....

 

unless of course you think the club should tap managers on motorways and hand them brown envelopes who are already in a job ie I didn't say they hadn't approached managers through the correct channels ..... the dimwittedness of some people is amazing

 

We all know Souness was a disastrous appointment, I am just correcting cyberbats for making up something which is simply not true. But he isn't the only person who does this.

 

 

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