Pardew lucky not to be sacked, says ex-Newcastle chief

Freddy Shephard, who left in 2007, says the manager would likely have been dismissed for his headbutt on David Meyler and subsequent seven-game ban during his tenure
Alan Pardew is lucky to still be manager of Newcastle United, according to the club's former chairman Freddy Shepherd.

Newcastle sit ninth in the Premier League and are safe from relegation, but the club have endured a turbulent season under Pardew's leadership, with the manager banned for seven game for headbutting David Meyler.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley backed Pardew following the incident and the Football Association charge, but Shephard - who left the club in 2007 - says the manager would be been dismissed during his tenure.

"I think the board at the time, not particularly me, with Sir John [Hall] would have had him on his bike," Shepherd told the Chronicle.

"Who knows the emotion he was going through? I like the guy. I've met him and in normal circumstances you'd certainly have a pint with the guy, he's fine.

"I think he just lost it that day. Would he have survived if he was at Man U or Chelsea or Liverpool as boss? I doubt it."