Souness to decide on Bellamy
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Graeme Souness will decide whether Craig Bellamy returns to Newcastle.Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd insists Graeme Souness will decide whether Craig Bellamy will return to the club.
Bellamy is currently on loan at Celtic following his public falling out with Souness earlier this season.
It was expected that Bellamy would never return to Newcastle again, but the club have stated that the Welshman could be recalled for InterToto Cup duty in June if he has not already moved on.
Shepherd, though, says Souness will decide on Bellamy although his actions mean this is unlikely.
"As far as Bellamy coming back to Newcastle is concerned, I think it would be very difficult for him to return after what has been said and surely it is better if he gets a new start elsewhere," Shepherd told the Evening Chronicle.
"But at the end of the day it is up to the manager to decide. That's his job.
"I am sure in hindsight perhaps Craig Bellamy will think he could have handled the situation differently. And at a guess I believe that Bellamy wishes he had not gone on television and called the manager a liar.
"Even in his own heart of hearts he must realise he could not do what he did in the irresponsible manner in which he acted and get away with it.
"I have said that the whole situation could have been handled differently but I am also saying that no other club would have handled it any differently than we did. I believe we acted correctly in everything we did."
Meanwhile, the club have taken up the option to extend Michael Chopra's contract following his successful loan spell at Barnsley this season.
However, Souness is not ready to blood him in The Premiership straightaway.
"It's not about Michael Chopra and picking him because it's a good opportunity to look at him," Souness said. "There's a few before him."
"We've had him watched and we're obviously aware he's scored goals at that level.
"But the Premiership is a very, very different ball game to the Second Division, which is where he's been playing.
"Scoring goals for Barnsley and scoring goals for Newcastle are very different."