Shepherd Walks Away Quietly

Last updated : 27 June 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor
Following a long meeting, Shepherd has agreed to Ashley's unexpected request that he remain in office at St James's Park.

The Magpies chairman had offered to stand down following his decision to sell his stake in the club, but Mike Ashley says he needs someone with experience in the club to help with the bedding-in period.

When asked how he felt about the position, Shepherd made no public comment on the situation, and left St James's Park officials to confirm he will continue in his current role in a short statement.

It remains to be seen whether Shepherd figures in Ashley's long-term plans, but it seems unlikely.

It is no secret Mike Ashley wants former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein to step into Shepherd's shoes. Shepherd has written a clause in his contract saying he (and Douglas Hall) will still be paid full wages for TWO YEARS after they sell their shares. Obviously Ashley is making Freddy work for it.

Dein is the man who took Arsene Wenger to Arsenal in 1996 and he has spent 24 years with the Gunners.

As well as establishing Arsenal as a formidable force on the pitch, he became vice-chairman of the FA, before representing the Premier League on the FA board.

However, during his days at Bolton, Allardyce was fiercely critical of Dein's influence within football. 
Yesterday's developments will enable Allardyce to press ahead with transfers, with the additional finances that will be available set to improve their prospects.

Although Rozehnal's capture has yet to be confirmed, the Czech international will start the forthcoming Premier League campaign as a Newcastle player following a £3m transfer from the Parc des Princes.

Allardyce will return to France as he attempts to strike a deal for another defender. Beye has long been a target and the United boss has received permission to make an approach for the Stade Velodrome captain. The 29-year-old is an accomplished performer at right-back and centre-half and his versatility appeals to a manager who is keen to add strength in both positions.

Newcastle continue to be linked with Bordeaux's Julien Faubert, although the 23-year-old appears to be bound for Glasgow Rangers.

One player who is not heading to St James's Park this summer is Ryan Babel. The striker caught Allardyce's eye during the European Under-21 Championships but, having revealed his desire to join Arsenal in the future, the 20-year-old is adamant he will remain at Ajax next season.

Ghana's Laryea Kingston has revealed that he rejected a move to Newcastle this summer in order to join Hearts on a permanent basis. The midfielder, who had been on loan at Tynecastle from Russian side Terek Grozny, also turned down Bolton.