Shepherd ready to leave
Departing Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd says the time was right for him to leave.
By Amanda Cornforth
Last Updated: 27/07/07 6:47pm
Departing Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd says the time was right for him to leave the club.
The 65-year-old was replaced by lawyer Chris Mort on Tuesday after 10 years at the helm at St James' Park, with his exit not unexpected following Mike Ashley's £134.4million takeover of the Magpies.
During his time as chairman Shepherd was involved in his share of controversy, but he departed with his head held high, knowing that he was doing the correct thing.
"I have had a great 15 years on the board, 10 of them as chairman and I have enjoyed every minute," Shepherd told the Chronicle.
"It has been a great privilege and honour to have been chairman and I would not have missed it for the world.
"We have had some really exciting times and I like to think we have achieved a lot since 1992 when we took over the club.
"But it was the right time for me to stand down. And in any case, once the club was delisted, my position as chairman of the PLC became redundant.
"I gave it my best shot and I could not really have done any more."
A Newcastle fan himself, Shepherd's one wish before he stepped-down was to give the club and its fans a major trophy following a 38-year wait, his only regret being that he left without achieving that feat.
He added: "My biggest regret is that I was unable to give our supporters a trophy.
"Don't forget that I am a supporter as well, and I was as desperate as the rest of the fans to bring some silverware to this club.
"Unfortunately, we just could not do it, but I still feel that we have achieved quite a lot since we took over.
"We have a fantastic stadium at St James' Park and our training ground and academy are as good as any in Europe.
"Now I feel that everything is in place for Sam Allardyce, Mike Ashley and Chris Mort to bring Newcastle United the success our supporters deserve."
New chairman Mort has promised to bring in more fresh faces on the pitch before the start of the new campaign with transfer activity on Tyneside steadying in recent weeks following the acquisitions of Mark Viduka, Joey Barton, David Rozehnal and Geremi.
"We have said throughout that the squad needs to be strengthened, particularly in defence," Mort said.
"We will not be throwing silly amounts of money around, but Sam and I are definitely in agreement that we need more signings before the start of the season.
"We are talking about a few specific targets. We want players with Premiership experience. We want to get the right people through the door."