Thursday, November 01, 2007

You've got a nerve...

Well, the silence was golden - that's all I can say.

I think we all knew it wouldn't be long before Fat Fred heaved himself back into the limelight, generously sharing his enlightened opinions with us. And sure enough, here he is, given a platform on the Guardian Sport blog to debate with George Graham on the subject of "Are Premier League clubs too quick to ditch managers?". No prizes for guessing which side of the fence the man who sacked Sir Bobby Robson after four games of the 2004-5 season is sitting on - even if he did subsequently claim "I didn't want to be known as the man who shot Bambi".

Shepherd starts out sympathetically enough - "Getting rid of a manager is the last thing any chairman ever wants to do" - but it's not long before he reveals his true colours: "And let's not feel too sorry for these guys. They are the only people in the world who get paid handsomely for failure". As a few commenters have hinted, that's not strictly true - after all, there are chairmen, too, aren't there Fred? Remind me what your annual salary was again? The best part of £600,000? And what did we win, exactly? In his case, we can add to failure the never-ending capacity to embarrass, humiliate and appal the average Newcastle fan.

As an aside, the claim "I am still friends with all my managers, except one" is interesting. I'd assume he's referring to that fuckwit Souness - but given Robson's criticisms of his chairmanship in his autobiography, it's not certain.

One person Fat Fred's certainly not friends with at the moment - if the Mirror is to be believed - is Mike Ashley, who is alleged to have effectively banned him and his brother Bruce from St James's Park. Well, it's one way of Ashley stamping his authority on the club and signalling that times have moved on...

There's yet another mention of Fat Fred buried deep within this Guardian piece on Martin Jol's sorry demise at Spurs: "He also does not understand why the club would not grant him permission to talk with Freddy Shepherd when the then-Newcastle chairman enquired about his services earlier this year." It's not substantiated with any quote and is the first I've heard about it, but the precise meaning of "earlier" is intriguing. Was the enquiry made when Glenn Roeder was still in charge, meaning Jol was involved in the same sort of cloak-and-dagger operation that he's now fallen victim to - or did the enquiry come after Roeder's forced resignation, meaning Fat Sam wasn't our first choice for his replacement?


Post a Comment

<< Home