Shepherd sells for £37m but remains Newcastle chairman

Mike Ashley is on the verge of assuming complete control of Newcastle United after Freddy Shepherd yesterday agreed to sell his stake in the club to the billionaire retailer. Newcastle’s chairman is expected to make a statement to the Stock Exchange this morning, announcing his decision to cede power by accepting Ashley’s £37,279,000 offer for his 28.06% stake in the club.

But this does not spell the end of Shepherd’s influence at St James’ Park. It is understood he will continue to serve as Newcastle’s salaried chairman, leaving the reclusive Ashley to adopt a lower-profile, Authentic Prada Handbag Uk behind-the-scenes role.

Ashley – who two weeks ago bought the Hall family’s 41.6% holding in Newcastle for £55m before launching a £133.1m takeover bid – was initially regarded by Shepherd with hostility but the pair have swiftly reached a rapprochement.

Discussions about Shepherd’s continuing role began when Ashley met him for the first time last week, visiting the chairman in hospital where he was seriously ill with pneumonia and a collapsed lung. Further talks have taken place this week at Shepherd’s Tyneside home with Kenneth, Shepherd’s son who is heavily involved in the club, playing a key part in negotiations.

It is unclear how long Shepherd, who Best Prada Outlet Italy will be joined by some of Ashley’s „people” at St James’ Park, will remain as chairman but in pragmatic terms the deal makes sense. The terms of the chairman’s contract entitle Shepherd to two years’ salary and benefits payable as a lump sum in the event of the club being taken over and a new chairman appointed.

Given that this dictates Ashley would need to pay him Amazon Uk Prada Shoes £900,000 if he found Bicester Village Prada Store Number a replacement this summer, maintaining the status Authentic Prada Bag For Sale Ph quo makes financial sense. And whereas Ashley understands relatively little about football’s nuances and its business idiosyncrasies, Shepherd knows the game – and club -inside out.

The receipt of Shepherd’s shares will have Ashley owning almost 70% of Newcastle, leaving him requiring only another 5% of shares to assume total control. He is preparing a document, to be sent out this week and circulated to all remaining Authentic Prada Handbag Uk stakeholders, offering 100p per share. If Ashley succeeds in buying 90% of those shares he would be able to de-list the company from the Stock Exchange, thereby shedding its plc status. Many City observers believe this to be his intention.

On Tuesday Ashley, Britain’s 25th richest man, visited Newcastle’s training ground for the first time and met Sam Allardyce, the club’s manager, and the midfielder Joey Barton, who had agreed to sign from Manchester City for £5.5m.

Barton’s transfer paved the way for the completion of Scott Parker’s £7m switch from Newcastle to West Ham United yesterday and Allardyce’s staff were preparing to meet Mark Viduka. The Middlesbrough striker has given Newcastle a verbal assurance he Authentic Prada Shoes Sale will sign for them when he returns from holiday this morning and a three-year contract awaits the 31-year-old at St James’ Park.

If Viduka’s imminent arrival has met with near universal approval from Newcastle fans, the club’s supporters are divided by an effective midfield exchange featuring Barton, who has been embroiled in a series of off-field problems, and Parker, an arguable under-achiever since succeeding Alan Shearer as Newcastle’s captain last summer.

Alan Curbishley, West Ham’s manager who previously worked with Parker at Charlton and reluctantly sold him to Chelsea, was delighted to be reunited with the 26-year-old. „He is exactly the type of player that I wanted to bring to the club. Scott’s very experienced but still young,” he said. „He’ll be a big asset.”

Allardyce trusts that Barton, who met Shepherd at the chairman’s house on Tuesday, will similarly prove a catalyst for success. „Everybody knows Newcastle are a club of great history and tradition and that’s great,” said Barton. „But what has also been great for me is that they have pushed the boat out for me and both Freddy Shepherd and Sam Allardyce have made me feel so wanted.

„I am not proud of some of the things I’ve done and I’ve brought a lot of my problems on myself but I want to be a winner prada replica, not only for myself, but for the fans. I’ve heard it said that footballers are all about flash cars and expensive watches but, for me, it’s all about winning Black Prada Eyeglass Case medals and it hurts that I haven’t any.”

Meanwhile Roy Keane’s hopes of taking Jonny Evans to Sunderland on a season’s loan from Manchester United have Authentic Prada Outlet Online Usa been thwarted by Sir Alex Ferguson. Evans played a starring role in Sunderland’s promotion to the Premiership after arriving on loan from Old Trafford in January and Ferguson has told the 19-year-old centre-half he wants him to challenge for a first-team place at United.

„I won’t be going out on loan again,” said Evans. „It’s more or less Apertura Outlet Prada Montevarchi been said that I’ll get games. I’m a Manchester United fan and it’s always been my aim to get into the first team here.”

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