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By ESPN Staff

Shepherd: Billionaire can buy me out of Toon

Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd will walk away from the club if a 'billionaire' can be found to buy the club - but he has told potential investors to 'put up or shut up'.

The Magpies' future has been the subject of speculation for much of this season with various companies and consortia linked with a St James' Park takeover.

Shepherd claims he is happy to stand down from his post but has played down takeover talk recently.

After the club's annual general meeting yesterday, he said: 'I am a Geordie and I don't want to move anywhere. But at the end of the day it's about finding whatever is the best for the club.

'Multi-millionaires are not enough any longer, you need billionaires. We would have to make sure that they would be fit and proper people to take over.

'It would be a clean break. I would not hang on, that's not right for any company. I've been involved with a few companies down the years and it doesn't work that way in my opinion,' he said.

Newcastle and Belgravia Group have been engaged in formal discussions since August while American group Polygon were reported last week to be interested.

Shepherd said: 'I would like it sorted out as soon as possible.

'Enough is enough. It has not affected the team or the management but, the longer it goes on, it makes for a lot of uncertainty around the club.

'It is time they put up or shut up, it is as simple as that. I don't make the rules, I abide by them. Let's get on with it.'