Shepherd defends decision to take the cash

Last updated : 03 December 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Apparently the reason that the £650,000 of Sky money was so important is because the wage bill is so high – an understandable complaint considering some of the non-contributors on the books, but wasn’t it Shepherd who agreed to pay the over-inflated salaries in the first place?

Shepherd then went on to spout some rubbish about how many games Real Madrid play each season, presumably ignoring the idea that a fully fit team at Wolves might well have taken an extra two points, which could decide whether or not we qualify for the Champions League and have the opportunity to play some of those additional fixtures.

Here’s what the chairman had to say:

"We have the fourth biggest wage bill in the Premiership and the money has to be found from somewhere.

"That's why Newcastle United explore every avenue so that we can compete with the best teams in Europe.

"Our players are on high wages even though we are outside London and we are happy to maintain this.

"But if our players feel that they should not have played two games in three days, then they should look no further than Real Madrid.

"The Real Madrid vice-president, Emilio Butragueno, told me only this week that they played 68 games last season, and that they were making two tours at the end of next season to Asia and the US.

"The Real Madrid players aren't asked if they want to go on these tours, they are just told they are going, it's as simple as that."