Shepherd's Last Stand?

Last updated : 06 November 2006 By Footy Mad - Editor

If you think, as many do, that the man has put his money into the club, you can forget that right for a start! He paid for his shares, which is money he will obviously get back one day, but he pays himself a "lottery pay out" every year.

The black and white hordes swarmed around the steps of St James' Park on Saturday and the penny has finally dropped.

After the Sheffield United match thet wanted answers, and they aimed their venom at the Newcastle board and Shepherd. As it happens the smartest decision Fat Fred has made for months was to be out of the country as it all kicked off outside the NUFC reception.

One reporter said this morning: "I happen to think Freddy Shepherd is quite possibly the worst thing to happen to Newcastle United Football Club in its proud history.

"Anyone who insults the women of an entire region, goes through managers like most people change socks, humiliates someone as revered as Sir Bobby Robson while taking the fattest of salaries from the club himself commands little respect".

And that wasn't from a London hack looking to turn the screw on the club, but from a man who has covered Newcastle United for decades.

Another reporter (from London) decided to defend the chairman: "He pulled off one of the footballing coups of the decade when he lured Michael Owen to Tyneside".

Not quite. Liverpool, Owen's prefered choice, didn't want him, and the player was actually going to join Wigan Athletic! So that description is a touch over-the-top ... for any decade!

As for Glenn Roeder, the pressure is mounting. He knows the axe is above his head, but he understands the predicament and declares: "In capital letters the responsibility for results is mine and nobody else's - and that is how it should always be with a manager.''

Yet ex-Toon manager Jim Smith said on SKY TV on Sunday: "I know what it's like at Newcastle. No manager can manage that club the way they want because the board is too strong".

Who will go first? Unless overnight Shepherd becomes a backer rather than a sacker, Roeder will go. That is the way he works. But personally I think he will bring in a "director of football" and try and save face. The fans want the chairman out, and he knows sacking Roeder won't do him any favours (although I'd love to see the back of the manager).

Shepherd says he won't sell the club unless a Geordie-based consortium comes up with £100m. But that again is the chairman talking out of his arse. The heat is rising, and 50,000 season ticket holders want to see a change at the top.

This time, they could get their way.