Souness Hits Out At Shepherd

Last updated : 12 June 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor

But chairman Freddy Shepherd got his way. Told us "the next Newcastle manager will be a Geordie" ... and introduced us to this guy born in Edinburgh. Obviously Freddy's boundaries of Geordie-ism stretch further than the usual.

Souness, to his credit, left with his lip buttoned. He probably wanted to say a lot, but until he got his mega-payoff cheque ... and got it cleared ... was happy to sit on the fence and let others do the talking.

But, the man who has tried to buy Wolverhampton Wanderers in recent weeks, has warned prospective new owner Mike Ashley he is taking over a "big club with big problems".

Souness believes Ashley must be prepared to invest "big money" if the club are to stand any chance of breaking into the top four of the Premiership.

Souness: "(Mike Ashley) is obviously a very wealthy individual but success will depend on how much money he is prepared to spend.

"During my time at Newcastle and Glenn Roeder's time we had money to spend but it was to tart the team up, not to build a team.

"It will need big money to bridge that gap into the top four because it is an enormous gap. The top four are so far away from everyone else at the moment.

"It's a very, very difficult job. This is a big football club with big problems."

Souness spent around £50million on players but failed to establish any success, wasting £8million on defender Jean Alain Boumsong and £10million midfielder Albert Luque.

Souness: "Sam has never managed a big club before and this is his opportunity to be successful. You wake up in morning when you manage a big club and you look to get through day with the fewest problems.

"I didn't enjoy my time up there. It's not the pressure of expectation. I have worked at bigger clubs than Newcastle and expectation you can live with.

"It is everything else you have to put up with. It is a very difficult job.

"It could become more difficult still if Ashley decided to have a hands-on role in the club's football issues. I experienced the problem of boardroom interference in footballing issues at first hand.
"That is a fundamental problem in football. You get people who come into the game and they are in it for five or six years, sometimes less, and all of a sudden they are experts.
"I am talking about owners and chairmen. They decide who comes and goes from your club, they are laying the policy down on so many issues.
"I could name half a dozen clubs off the top of my head where that happens."