Freddy Shepherd's surprising verdict on the future of Lee Charnley at Newcastle

Lee Charnley

Lee Charnley

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Former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd has come out in support of under-fire Lee Charnley.

There have been calls for Charnley to resign, or be sacked, in the club's relegation last night.

Charnley, United's managing director, served under Shepherd, who sold his stake in the club to Mike Ashley nine years ago.

Reflecting on the club's relegation, Shepherd told talkSPORT: "Newcastle is a very sad and angry city this morning, and the fact it was Sunderland just made it worse.

“But you can’t live in the past – you die in the past. We have got to move forward.

“I remember the late Freddie Fletcher (Newcastle’s former chief executive) saying a fish rots from the head down, and I think that could well be true.

"I hope Lee Charnley doesn’t leave, because he’s a great guy and a good administrator … but it’s no good just having an inquest. What good will that do?

“You’ve got to look forward, not in the past. Newcastle has to move on.”

Asked about the future of manager Rafa Benitez, Shepherd added: “I think it’ll be difficult keeping him there.

"The money will be an issue, of course. Top managers won’t work for nothing. But with just two wins in ten games – I think he’s got to look at himself as well.”