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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Magpie Group: Second Open Meeting

The second open meeting organised by The Magpie Group took place at the Labour Club last night before a packed audience who listened to local MP’s Chi Onwurah, Ian Mearns and FSF CEO Kevin Miles.

The trio of speakers, all NUFC fans, spoke passionately about Newcastle United, their love for the club clearly demonstrated to an appreciative audience.

The evening began by Chi outlining the work behind her petition presented In Parliament about the ownership of NUFC which caused so much concern in the Ashley camp which led him to formally respond. She went on to explain how she now intended to ‘follow the money’, citing in particular the deal regarding the land at Gallowgate Car Park on Strawberry Place.

Life Long fan Ian Mearns, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters, then followed, highlighting his travels following NUFC over the years and explaining his role as Chair and its purpose which is to protect the interest of football fans. He spoke passionately of his desire to see fans come together to protect the future of NUFC.

Ian was followed by Kevin Miles from FSF who briefed the audience on the role of the FSF and the work they have done over the years to help football fans up and down the country offering the help of the FSF to fans. As longstanding members of the FSF we can vouch for the excellent work they have done over the years.

It was then over to the floor with a wide range of questions /suggestions and opinions from a packed audience which covered a number of areas. The audience were encouraged to provide their feedback on the most popular suggestions made by fans following literally 100’s of suggestions made from fans.

Word reached fans in attendance that Mr Ashley was in town …well slightly out of town….and a contingent of fans including members from NUST headed up to Ponteland to register disapproval with the owner and to display Ashley Out/Sports Redirect banners. The night ended with the owner giving the V’s to fans….what more can you say!

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From Keegan to Benítez; what’s changed?

A members view. NUST member Andy Ashwell sets out his thoughts on the current situation at NUFC:

As if anyone needed reminding, the last few days have provided more examples, past and present, of the crass and inept way in which Newcastle United Football Club has been run since the arrival of Ashley in 2007.

Firstly, in two short extracts from his book amounting to just a few pages, Kevin Keegan has given us a glimpse into what promises to be an encyclopedia of the botched mismanagement and amateurish running of a football club. So far, we have read KK’s observations of the club’s Head of Recruitment (Tony Jimenez) with a spectacular lack of ‘situational awareness’ regarding transfer targets. Next, the stunted cockney Executive Director with a liking for ‘commercials’, i.e. signing nobodies to keep a couple of agents sweet.

It’s fair to point out that little has changed bar the names, and we’re again in a situation where a respected manager like Rafa has to have his every decision ratified by a Managing Director (Charnley) who has arguably less of a football background than Jimenez did.

And then there is the undeclared role of Justin Barnes, a.k.a Ashley’s ‘fixer’, who was part of the four horsemen of the apocalypse who turned up in the Directors Box at Palace on saturday. While Wise was officially appointed Executive Director, nobody has been able to identify with any certainty exactly what Barnes’ involvement is at NUFC. 

In the 2004 Competition Appeal Tribunal hearing (after Ashley grassed on his competitors for price fixing), it was noted that “ Mr. Ashley operates largely informally, conducting business on his mobile phone and in meetings, while leaving it to others to make notes and sort out the details.” (It’s worth noting that the same tribunal found “ Mr. Ashley’s evidence was open, honest and in general reliable”).

The long list of clueless minions employed in executive roles at NUFC shows that this remains his default method of conducting business. How can a football club operate effectively when the owner seemingly isolates the manager from his circle of trust, and that circle is full of toadies with little football experience/knowledge? Why have lessons not been learned?

With the weekend’s impending ‘transfer summit’, we can only hope that Rafa’s/our fate isn’t sealed as he is forced to deal with Ashley’s fawning yes men, undermined and humiliated by sycophantic lackeys as per KK.

On top of KK’s revelations comes the news that NUFC have ‘asked’ local boxer Lewis Ritson’s management to remove the club badge from his merchandise. Tweeting afterwards, he said: “Disappointed in NUFC, been in touch with my manager telling them a need to take all nufc logos off merchandise/clothes but happy for me to wear the logo when am live on TV, a team I’ve supported all my life and held a season ticket for 7 years when younger! Mike Ashley Out!”

For any pedantic types; fair enough, they don’t have a licence to use the badge, but surely a bit of perspective needs to come into play here. Ritson himself doesn’t profit from the merchandise, and while the manufacturer could do, realistically any such gain would be miniscule in comparison to revenue from replica shirts and other official club merchandise.

It comes across as petty and unnecessary, and a slap in the face of someone (a fan) who considers Newcastle United a part of his identity, and epitomises the cold, soulless and disengaged nature of the modern day club. This is in stark contrast to the relationship that exists between Tony Bellew and Everton, a club that strives to maintain a community image.

Given what amounts to borderline humiliation, what price Ritson or his entourage bringing the #AshleyOut message to millions when he fights for the European Lightweight title in Newcastle on October 13th – live on Sky Sports? Already a hugely popular fighter in his native Tyneside, that would elevate him to hero status. Go on man, you know it makes sense…

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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 

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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.

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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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FANS FOODBANK

NUFC fans have been more than generous in their contributions since the setting up of NUFC Fans Foodbank at the beginning of last year. As well as match day contributions supporters have individually been looking at many weird and wonderful ways of supporting the NUFC Fans Foodbank link with WestEnd Foodbank. The latest fundraising effort includes a cross channel swim by Mark Brown.
Here’s a message from Mark;
‘Between 29/06 and 02/07 I will be having a go at swimming the Channel. Absolutely no guarantee I will make it to France, but I’m in a good position to give it a good go. I have been in the sea at Tynemouth almost every day for the last couple of months and done a few big swims over in the Lake District, so now it’s just down to the weather and conditions on the day!
It’s something I have always wanted to do but thought it would be a great opportunity to support a good local charity as well. If you have a few quid to spare for Newcastle foodbank, a charity which provides food to the many who are affected by food poverty here in the north east, it really would be greatly appreciated.’

Good luck Mark! NUST

SAFE STANDING UPDATE

As previously reported, a Parliamentary debate took place on Monday 25th June in relation to Safe Standing. It turned out to be a well-attended, interesting debate with those in attendance by and large demonstrating that they were up to speed on all of the relevant issues including one of our own, Gateshead MP and NUFC fan Ian Mearns who spoke up in favour of Safe Standing. Momentum is gathering and we await further developments.
If you missed the debate it can be watched via the link below;
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/7860c4f1-7b1e-49da-84c8-5ffe5917515f
You can read the transcript of the debate here;
https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-06-25/debates/8A09C8B2-14D5-4E2D-8F3E-1D7FF3838818/FootballSafeStanding
Research on the subject can be accessed via the following link;
https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CDP-2018-0147
Finally if you want to view the petition itself which sparked off the Parliamentary debate please click on the following link
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/207040

The Government have announced that they are undertaking a review on the issue of Safe Standing and the Opposition have recently announced that they support its introduction .We will update once we have more to report.
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Parliamentary debate on Safe Standing

Supporters will know, from previous articles, that NUST are in favour of the introduction of Safe Standing and have long been supportive of the FSF ‘Stand Up for Choice’ campaign .Following the refusal by Government of the application to introduce Safe Standing at West Brom momentum has been gathering behind the campaign.
On Monday ,25th June 2018, a parliamentary debate will take place on the issue of Safe Standing in the Premier League and Championship following an e-petition "relating to allowing Premier League and Championship football clubs to introduce safe standing" which resulted in over 112,000 signatures in support.

If you wish to encourage your MP to take part in the debate please follow the following instructions;
Visit www.writetothem.comEnter your post codeClick on your MP’s nameComplete the online form and make your case for standing at football
At a political level the Government have recently indicated they are prepared to review their position and following a recent meeting with fans groups, attended by a representative from NUST, the opposition have agreed to introduce a policy in favour of Safe Standing.
There is no doubt that times are changing and the issue of Safe Standing is now high on the agenda.
We’ll keep you informed.
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SEASON TICKET RENEWALS

NUFC announced a new season ticket renewal procedure yesterday and whilst those on long term deals are unaffected it’s clear that for many fans the new pricing structure is a cause for concern. Whilst in general over the years the club has promoted an affordable pricing strategy there are concerns amongst fans that have contacted NUST that they are being ‘priced out’ of watching NUFC. Of concern to many fans is the prior lack of communication to supporters about the changes. Presumably the new structure has been under consideration for some time, yet the matter was not raised for discussion at the end of season Fans Forum. The clubs biggest asset is its fan base and NUST would urge the club to listen to those supporters affected, and if required deal with matters sympathetically on a case by case basis as a reward to its loyal supporters.
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FIXTURE LIST 2018/19

The fixtures for next season were announced yesterday with our kick off being at home v Spurs .A difficult first month but as usual we get to play everyone twice!

Other key dates have us at Liverpool on Boxing Day, home against Man U on New Years Day, and finishing with a trip to Fulham.
Of course, it’s all subject to the heavy caveat that TV fixtures have not been announced….so just take the fixture list as a ‘general guide’. If you haven’t seen them they are repeated below;
11.08.2018 Tottenham Hotspur (h) 18.08.2018 Cardiff City (a) 25.08.2018 Chelsea (h) 01.09.2018 Manchester City (a) 15.09.2018 Arsenal (h) 22.09.2018 Crystal Palace (a) 29.09.2018 Leicester City (h) 06.10.2018 Manchester United (a) 20.10.2018 Brighton (h) 27.10.2018 Southampton (a) 03.11.2018 Watford (h) 10.11.2018 A.F.C. Bournemouth (h) 24.11.2018 Burnley (a) 01.12.2018 West Ham United (h) 05.12.2018 Everton (a) 08.12.2018 Wolverhampton (h) 15.12.2018 Huddersfield Town (a) 22.12.2018 Fulham (h) 26.12.2018 Liverpool (a)
29.12.2018 Watford (a) 01.01.2019 Manchester United (h) 12.01.2019 Chelsea (a)
19.01.2019 Cardiff City (h) 30.01.2019 Manchester City (h) 02.02.2019 Tottenham Hotspur (a) 09.02.2019 Wolverhampton (a) 23.02.2019 Huddersfield Town (h) 27.02.2019 Burnley (h) 02.03.2019 West Ham United (a) 09.03.2019 Everton (h) 16.03.2019 A.F.C. Bournemouth (a) 30.03.2019 Arsenal (a) 06.04.2019 Crystal Palace (h) 13.04.2019 Leicester City (a) 20.04.2019 Southampton (h) 27.04.2019 Brighton (a)
04.05.2019 Liverpool (h) 12.05.2019 Fulham (a)
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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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