Former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd says Rafa Benitez has “got to look at himself” after the club were relegated from the Premier League.
The Geordies were sent tumbling into the Championship on Wednesday night after Sunderland’s 3-0 hoe win over a disheartened Everton team.
Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley immediately apologised to the club’s fans in the form of a club statement and said that “the process of scrutinising what went wrong and planning for what is to come has already begun”.
Shepherd however believes the club should focus on planning for their long-term future, rather than reflectling on the past.
Shepherd told talkSPORT: “Newcastle is a very sad and angry city this morning, and the fact it was Sunderland [who sent the Magpies down] 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.”
Shepherd, who quit as chairman in July 2007 after 10 years at the helm, also believes former Real Madrid boss Benitez should carry some of the can for the club’s demise after winning just two of his nine games.
When asked about Benitez, he 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.”
Reports earlier this week suggested Benitez was ‘seriously considering’ remaining in charge of Newcastle despite relegation.