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Ex-Newcastle chairman Shepherd: Ashley needs to get hands-on

Former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd has called on club owner Mike Ashley to get more hands-on.

"It's clear that many fans are fearful over what they see as the lack of leadership at the club," Shepherd declared to the Sunday Sun. "The owner has to restore confidence by showing himself in public at St. James's Park and taking a hands-on role.

"He's had a lot of flak from disgruntled fans, but they have a right to call it as they see it.

"I got plenty of stick during my time in charge, but not even my sternest critics can accuse me of hiding. I was always there in the firing line.

"You've got to be brave enough to step up to the plate. Mike Ashley must show leadership in the tricky months that lie ahead."

And a good leader should delegate responsibility to the right people, according to Shepherd.

"The single most important thing he (Ashley) must do is to immediately recruit someone to run the club who has a background in top football administration.

"The club is crying out for a chairman or a chief executive who has experience of running a big football club.

"That's not a job application because I've had my time. But Ashley must find someone who knows how to run a football club."

Shepherd also declared: "No one should feel sorry for Mike Ashley. He got the club on the cheap.

"He got a fantastic deal when Sir John Hall sold out and set the price at £134 million. The value of the property and the playing assets that he got was at least three times what he paid for the club.

"He got a state-of-the-art 52,000-seater stadium - which you couldn't build today for less than £400 million - as well as a brand new training complex, an Academy and a squad of players that was bursting with internationals."

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