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Freddy Shepherd Talks 
To Bobby Moncur - part II

First broadcast on Century FM, Thurs 25th Jan 2001

Due to the sometimes rambling nature of the interview (especially the questions) some parts of this have been abridged and the questions summarised.

14. Why did the club become a PLC ?

The whole (Hall) family were controlling the business - it was too much for one family to needed to go to a plc basis to take the club forward. It's a huge thing - since the Hall's came in 1990, there's been 200m spent, a lot of money in anybody's book.

15. How do you feel about the Club's current "no-spend" policy? 

As a fan I think 'Christ we should buy him, we should do this, we should do that'. It frustrates me but there are always good reasons.... I'll look pretty damn silly in two weeks time if they abolish that transfer system and I've cost the club a fortune.

16. Give us the background on Domi

We couldn't have got another penny for him - he had made it quite clear he wasn't coming back.....We met him - he explained his reasons why he wanted to leave Newcastle - we didn't accept them but we couldn't persuade him to return. He was suffering financially and we had to do the best deal we could.

17. And what about Asprilla ?

I hope he finds his way better than he did the last time! We went to Milan (to sign him from Palma) and we had an atlas trying to explain where Newcastle was. He was a great character - a one-off. I think he had just attempted to shoot someone before he joined us....

As a supporter I'd welcome Tino back to Newcastle, but as Chairman I wouldn't. Barcelona at home was his finest hour - he beat them on his own.

18. Do you ever interfere with transfers ?

I never offer my advice to Bobby or anyone else (about buying players). It's always left to the Chairman to negotiate and do the deals and that way we take a harder line with agents. We want the player, at the right price. The Manager wants the player because he wants to put him on that field on the Saturday and he would probably go that extra yard that we wouldn't go.

19. What do you think of Player's Agents - How do you view them ?

Not very well....they're here to stay but some of them are just absolutely unbelievable the way they try and get money out of the game. I went to Buenos Aires for the day to do a deal for Acuna and the agent was unbelievable....we saved a fortune by going down there for ourselves and doing a deal with Acuna and the club - and cutting the agents out of it. They got too greedy.

20. Do you think we can get back in Europe this season ?

I do. We're 7th but we have everything to play for - we have to get a top six spot to get in there. We haven't done too badly with having seven players out (Shearer, Cort, Speed, Lee, Solano, Dyer, Dabizas) and when those seven players come back we're going to have a real surge at the end of the season.

21. How do you feel about the club's PR ?

For the last three years it's been poor - we're trying to correct it and fulfill everything on the Fans Charter. The fans will be represented according to the Charter and we're trying to give the fans more information. It has been poor in the past but we're trying to correct it.
22. And the media ?

....the media like to have a pop at Newcastle. That's because it's a big club. Not just in England but also abroad, people see Newcastle as a huge club. Sometimes we underestimate ourselves here.

23 Thoughts on A Super League?

Eventually you'll have a European Super League in midweek - but the Premiership will stay as it is. You have the best of both worlds, the Premier League, strong as it is and Milan, Juventus, Barcelona playing here midweek.

24. Which would you prefer: to win a European Trophy, The FA Cup or the Premiership ?

Premiership - it's over the year, you're not tested over 5 or 6 rounds.

25. What target do you set for the club ?

Not to have ambition to win something must be terrible...I'm full of hope and ambition to win something. I think if you haven't got that then you shouldn't be in the job.

26. What About the Big Three North East Clubs ?

Without a doubt we're the top team. With all respect to Sunderland and Middlesbrough, they can't imagine being the top team in the North East..... The top team in the North East is Newcastle without a doubt and if they (Murray and Gibson) put their hand on their hearts they'd recognise that.

Were all rivals but we're all friends and we all look after the North East and we're all here to protect the North East and do what we can for the North East. I'm happy Sunderland and Middlesbrough are up there with us but Newcastle are the biggest team, without a doubt.

Part 1 of this interview can be accessed from here.


Page last updated 24 June, 2009