Shepherd And Sir John At Loggerheads!


There has been months of speculation, as Hall seemed willing to sell his 41.6% stake in the club while Shepherd says he wants to stick with the club. Or as Shepherd said back in September: "I'll stay until we win a cup, then I will pass the job onto someone else". Shepherd, who has a 28%-plus holding in the club, also revealed he might consider buying the Hall shares himself.

Shepherd: "Sir John Hall has to decide what his role in the club is. The future of this club is in his hands. He has to decide whether he wants to stick or sell.

"For the sake of the club, the shareholders and supporters, Sir John must decide quickly what he is going to do and make his position public.

"He is perfectly entitled to sell his shares to whomever he wants. But if he wants to sell them, he needs to say so and if, he does not, good, let's all march on together.

"The uncertainty is making it hard for me to run the club. Sir John identified two potential buyers and it has not worked. How many more potential buyers has the club to cope with?

"The offer period has been damaging and difficult for everyone at the club. Everyone at the club from me as chairman down to the manager Glenn Roeder, the coaches, the players and our administrative staff, have been left wondering whether they would have jobs when it was all over.

"If he lives to be 100, is Sir John going to keep trying to sell these shares? Are we going to have this uncertainty forever? All I am asking of him is a clear decision. I want him to be honest with me and the supporters.

"The club simply cannot go on dealing with proposed buyers knocking on the door who turn out to be time wasters. It is me who has to run the club on a day-to-day basis and this situation is not conducive to running a huge Premiership club.

"Our fans read that Belgravia were supposedly going to put £24million in for new players in January. That conjecture created problems by raising fans' expectations and causes clubs to raise their prices when we ask them about players.

"I have shown my commitment to Newcastle by buying shares in the club and I have never sold a share. I would consider buying the Hall shares at the correct price.

"I cannot prevent Sir John selling the shares he controls, but if the club I want it to be to the right people. As long as I am here, I am going to do my best for the club.

"But at the same time, I am not going to let any would-be buyer take the mickey out of this club or its supporters by raising false expectations."