Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bellamy Has Cheated the Club, the Supporters, the Manager and His Own Team-Mates ( Shepherd

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bellamy Has Cheated the Club, the Supporters, the Manager and His Own Team-Mates ( Shepherd

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Freddie Shepherd last night broke his silence on the crisis which threatens to engulf St James's Park as he condemned Craig Bellamy as a "cheat" who is guilty of letting down Newcastle United, the club's supporters and his own team-mates.

And, as the striker's war of words with Graeme Souness took an astonishing new twist, Bellamy branded his manager a "liar" and accused the Magpies boss of trying to turn the fans against him in an attempt to force him out of the Tyneside club.

Shepherd now has the unenviable task of trying to resolve a situation which has left the player with no future in the North-East yet has damaged the Welsh international's reputation to such an extent that selling him will now be virtually impossible.

Newcastle's furious chairman said: "In my book, Craig Bellamy has cheated the club, the supporters, the manager and his own team-mates. He is paid extremely well by Newcastle United and I consider his behaviour to be totally unacceptable and totally unprofessional."

Shepherd, who has given Souness his unequivocal backing in the matter, had initially issued a short statement in which he insisted that a line had been drawn under an incident which saw Bellamy feign injury having grown tired of being played out of position.

But the striker's questionable decision to speak out against his manager on television again yesterday evening was met with the sternest of rebukes from within St James Park.

The United chairman added: "He walked off the training ground (last Friday) saying his hamstring was tight but what he failed to reveal was that he had told other members of the squad before training that he intended to feign injury.

"Craig Bellamy admitted to Graeme Souness and I that he had told the players that he was going to do this and then walk off. He agreed to apologise to his team-mates for his behaviour but he didn't do this which resulted in the action being taken by the manager (to drop Bellamy for Sunday's trip to Arsenal) which I fully support. …

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