The highlight of the 1997–98 season was to be the club’s run in the UEFA Champions League, seeing them defeat Barcelona 3–2 after a hat-trick from striker Faustino Asprilla. The club’s Premier League form, however, began to suffer following Asprilla’s departure from the club in January, and despite the return of Shearer to the starting line-up, he was unable to recapture the form he had found under Kevin Keegan. The club reached the FA Cup final only to fall to a 2–0 defeat by Arsenal. A controversy surrounded the club in March 1998 when two board members, Douglas Hall (son of chairman Sir John Hall) and Freddie Shepherd, were filmed in a Spanish brothel making a series of remarks to an undercover tabloid journalist. They ridiculed Shearer, boasted of “ripping off” supporters with the club shirts they sold, and called the women of Newcastle “dogs”. Almost unbelievably, Shepherd subsequently became chairman the following season.