Tyne & Wear

Newcastle United relegation may force sale, ex-chairman says

Freddy Shepherd Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Freddy Shepherd said: "No Geordie wants to see Newcastle in the position they're in."

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is likely to sell the club if the team is relegated, former club chairman Freddy Shepherd has said.

Newcastle must beat West Ham next Sunday to ensure they avoid relegation.

They were beaten 2-1 by Queen's Park Rangers on Saturday and have lost nine of their last 10 matches.

Mr Ashley has not commented, but in September last year he made it clear he had no intention of selling the club until at least the end of next season.

"[But] if they do get relegated then I think there could be a change of ownership, I'm sure," Mr Shepherd explained.

"You can't get relegated twice in seven years without something at the top being sorted out."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mike Ashley said last year he had no plans to sell the club until at least the end of next season

Mr Ashley "may have had enough at Newcastle" and would try to sell the club, he said.

But it was "down to the players at the end of the day", Mr Shepherd added.

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