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Shepherd insists he sold Newcastle in good shape

Former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd insists he left the club to Mike Ashley in good shape.

Large sections of the Toon Army were glad to see the back of Shepherd when he ended his nine year reign.

But his controversial time at the helm saw Champions League football plus Alan Shearer and Michael Owen arriving in stunning deals.

Shepherd said: "We didn't have any problems when I left. Everything was arranged.

"There was no way the club was going anywhere but up.

"When I left, plans were already in place to bring in new money, to expand the ground again and develop the site with a new hotel, casino and other enterprises.

"All funding was arranged. It had everything, new stadium, new shop, the land, training ground. Everything."

The return of Kevin Keegan is seen by many fuming fans as the answer to Newcastle's problems.

And Shepherd added: "Like everyone else, I don't know exactly what has been said between them.

"It would certainly be in Ashley's interests to persuade Kevin to resume normal business - even though he is looking to sell."

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