Join the NUFC Trust

The Trust exists to provide a way for the fans to get their voices heard by Newcastle United FC. We’re not a protest group, we want to develop formal links between supporters and the Club and to be a positive influence on supporter issues.

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AWAY FANS SURVEY

For the last five years the Football Supporters Federation have carried out an ‘Away Fans Survey’ in order to record the experience of fans following their club away. Feedback from supporters allows the FSF to gather information about such areas as pricing, facilities, stewarding and much more. Last season’s survey was completed by more than 3,800 away fans-Southampton being rated highest in the Premiership.

The survey provides the FSF with an enormous amount of feedback on how fans feel they are treated and the data is shared with clubs in order that they can consider how they can improve the ‘away experience’ for fans.

We’ve not been without our problems here at NUFC with many of our longest trips being moved for TV scheduling and further problems being created by the short re-scheduling of the Everton away fixture –which caused NUST to seek compensation from the club for fans -and the never ending saga of our trip to Tottenham.

If you want to make your voice heard please fill in the survey which can be accessed via the FSF website; www.fsf.org.uk 

NUST

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FANS SUPPORTING FOODBANKS

The NUFC Fans Foodbank is now well established here at NUFC, setting up opposite the Gallowgate End every home game, as well as operating from a Unit within the Grainger Market .Last year saw the first National Fans Foodbank Conference hosted here at NE1 with attendees from a variety of fans groups from up and down the country, with speakers from Everton, Liverpool, Celtic as well as our own NUFC Fans Foodbank. The Conference inspired fans of other clubs to set up their own match day collections and the movement appears to be growing.

It is credit to football fans up and down the country that they have got behind this initiative and here at Newcastle we are proud of the contributions made our supporters .NUST are happy to have played a part in our own NUFC Fans Foodbank and we will continue to assist where we can.

This year’s national National Fans Foodbank Conference is due to take place in Liverpool on 19th October and we are pleased to report that we will have an NUST representative in attendance. We will report back on progress that has been made by fans since last year’s Conference.

NUST

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True Faith Live 3: How To Take The Fight To Ashley

True Faith have announced their latest “True Faith Live” event which will be held at the Tyneside Irish Centre on Thursday 11/Oct/2018 with all proceeds from the night going to support the NUFC Fans Foodbank.

The previous events in September 2017 and February 2018 were very well organised, sold-out and a worthwhile night of debate and discussion about our beloved Newcastle United.

Our very own Colin Whittle will be attending as a speaker alongside lots of other noteworth NUFC writers.

For further information and to purchase a ticket, please click here.


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Sports Direct AGM 2018

I don’t spend a lot of time at AGMs; in fact, the Sports Direct version held in a partly finished floor space at Academy House today was my first. I could be wrong, but I’m fairly certain they usually last more than 15 minutes for large scale businesses such as this.

However, after the cursory/derisory amount of time allocated to the meeting, and Ashley’s appearance after saying he was too busy, the most striking aspect of the non-event was the complete absence of a Q&A session involving shareholders in the audience (not to mention the sprinkling of Mags in attendance) questioning the board of directors.

The ‘meeting’ was chaired by Keith Hellawell, who has previously relied on Ashley’s intervention as Chief Executive and majority shareholder to retain his position as Chairman following shareholder unrest. After Hellawell confirmed his and non-executive director Simon Bentley’s resignations, he covered some admin points before giving some guidance on the polling card, which contained the 18 Resolutions that were to be voted upon. Questions were invited from shareholders/proxies, but specifically regarding the 18 Resolutions only. When there were no takers, the board hastily relocated to a nearby meeting room, one making a glib comment about getting to the pub early.

With people unclear whether the meeting was over or briefly adjourned, the room started to empty. There was no ‘any other business’ or opportunity for an open forum Q&A session. As far as I could see, there wasn’t even a printed agenda, only a few rows of plastic seats on a bare concrete floor. I asked both a reporter and a shareholder whether I was wrong to expect a Q&A, and both confirmed that it is normal practice to include this in an AGM.

While Q&A sessions are not a compulsory element of any AGM, they are seen as an ideal opportunity to engage with shareholders and let them have their say. Indeed the ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators), who ‘champion good governance practices’, identify the Q&A as one of the main reasons shareholders attend an AGM. It is also seen as an opportunity for good ‘PR’ in front of the media.

Given the current climate of shareholder unrest, including advisory groups advocating voting against Ashley and Hellawell, this should have given the board some much needed face time with their investors. It raises further questions about the corporate governance of Sports Direct, which is at the top of the list of current shareholder concerns, along with a falling share price, the reported £5million payment to his daughter’s boyfriend, and the House of Fraser buyout.

There were no presentations, speeches or any sort of board-shareholder engagement that (according to my research) are common practice in corporate AGMs; Ashley remained silent, with a decidedly uncomfortable look on his face. On reflection, the whole meeting came across as scripted and stage-managed, an approach with which all NUFC fans are all too familiar.

Is this just another example of ‘typical Ashley’? He is either gambling on shareholder loyalty, as he does with ours, or it is another display of outright arrogance and contempt; in my opinion, it is a mixture of both. To quote a recent headline from the national press: “The investors aren’t happy. But Mike Ashley doesn’t have to care.”   

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Fans Forum Cancelled

“The club apologised for delays in the regularity of Fans Forum meetings.   The club … hoped that supporters ………. would acknowledge how committed the club has been to communicating openly as part of the Forum.”   – extract from Fans Forum minutes 25th April 2018.

This is what the club said in April at their first meeting for over 18 months.  They’re supposed to arrange at least two meetings per year but this hadn’t been happening.  At the request of the Supporters Trust representative on the Forum they agreed to diary a programme of future meetings, the first being Tuesday 28th August.

On Monday 27th August the club sent out a message cancelling the meeting.  

This at a time when there has been considerable unrest amongst fans and huge media attention about all matters Newcastle United.  Protests and fan group meetings, disgraceful inaccurate statements being made by so called pundits and questions being asked at Government level about the ownership and management of our club.  Could there ever be a more important time for the club hierarchy to meet with fans and discuss openly their ongoing concerns?

They’ve said they are committed to communicating openly with fans.   Actions speak louder than words, however, and the Fans Forum would appear not to rank high enough in their priorities.

NUST Chairman

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Who are we?

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust is not a protest group, but a positive force for change.

We seek to benefit our football club and its supporters by channeling the passion of its loyal supporters into a forward-thinking non-profit organisation that is a legally constituted, democratic, not-for-profit Supporters Trust.

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) seeks to benefit both the Football Club and its supporters by channeling the passion of Newcastle supporters into a forward-thinking organisation that is a legally constituted, democratic, not-for-profit Supporters Trust of Newcastle United.

Contact Us

PO Box 621

Newcastle Upon Tyne

NE5 9AD

info@nufctrust.co.uk

@nufctrust

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