Heading into the final round of matches next weekend, Newcastle find themselves in real danger of getting relegated from the Premier League
Ashley has been the chairman of the Magpies since 2007, but Shepherd claims that the English businessman could sell the club if they drop down a division.
“[But] if they do get relegated then I think there could be a change of ownership, I'm sure,” the former Newcastle chairman told BBC Sport. "You can't get relegated twice in seven years without something at the top being sorted out.”
Newcastle fans have grown frustrated with Ashley’s lack of proper investment in the squad in recent years. The supporters want to see a team which is competitive and plays good football.
However, going down to the Championship would be a disaster for Newcastle. Perhaps the Englishman would sell and leave, but getting out of the second tier of English football would be hugely difficult.
The Championship is a tough league, and there is no guarantee that the Magpies will finish in the top two or even the top six next season.
For Newcastle to have a bright future, they need to remain in the Premier League. It is as simple as that.