Newcastle Move On - SHEPHERD OUT!

Last updated : 24 July 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor

Shepherd's controversial reign as Newcastle chairman finally came to an end when the club confirmed he had been replaced by Chris Mort.

Mort said: "I am delighted to become chairman of such a fabulous club.

"Since arriving at St James' Park I have been hugely encouraged by the warm welcome I have received from so many supporters.

"The strategic review of the club is going well and, with the new season fast approaching, we feel the time is right to make the change.

"I would like to thank Freddy Shepherd for all he has done for the club over the last 15 years."

Shepherd is understood to have severed all official ties with the club.

In recent years he had become increasingly unpopular with many supporters, making decisions that came back to haunt him. Their protests grew ever more vocal during last season's dismal spell.

The pressure got to him, he sacked Glenn Roeder in May and made Sam Allardyce the club's fifth manager in 10 years.

He bragged he was here to stay, "Newcastle is un-buyable as long as I am at the club", but he got the shock of his life when (after slamming Sir John Hall for threatening to sell out) Hall sold his shares to Mike Ashley ... rather than to Shepherd himself.

There was "blood on the board room floor" alright, and that signalled the end for Shepherd. He said he would "dig in his heels" but Ashley ground him into the dirt.

In 1998 he and fellow director Douglas Hall were secretly filmed by the News of the World deriding Newcastle women and mocking star striker Alan Shearer.

In August 2004, Shepherd made the largely unpopular choice to sack veteran manager Sir Bobby Robson just four games into the new season, having previously announced that Robson would not be offered a new deal at the end of the season.

Shepherd appointed Graeme Souness as Robson's successor after saying "the next manager will be a Geordie". Someone should have told him Souness was born in Edinburgh.

Souness left the club in 2006 but his replacement, Roeder, failed to reverse the club's slide, heaping the pressure on Shepherd after last
season's below-par 13th place finish.

Freddy has gone ... and this is one of the happiest days of my life!