Friday, June 08, 2007

Regime change

Meanwhile, negotiations of a rather different kind look to have reached a conclusion with the news that Mike Ashley is set to take over the club, having reached agreement with Fat Fred over the purchase of his 28% stake.

When the story that Ashley had first bought up the Hall family's 41.6% share first broke last month, Shepherd seemed rather less than amused. Judging by the wording of his initial response, he was about as welcoming to the move as Tony Martin is to intruders.

All of which means that today's quotes have the stink of insincerity and propaganda - apparently Ashley and his company will be "excellent custodians of Newcastle United's heritage" and "will provide the best opportunity for the club to flourish in the future, to the benefit of the company and its fans". Are you sure you're not just saying that because your pudgy, clammy palms have been crossed with silver, Fred? Surely that can be the only reason you've changed your tune so quickly and are suddenly able to countenance stepping aside to leave the club without a Geordie at the helm.

Still, this shouldn't be cause for complaint - after all, most of us have wanted shot of Shepherd for ages and now it looks as though we'll have our wish. Expect incidences of foot-in-mouth disease on Tyneside to drop dramatically in the near future.


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