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.

Safe Standing Update

We recently reported on the issue of Safe Standing and the reaction amongst supporters following the Sports Ministers decision to reject the application by WBA to install Rail seating at The Hawthorns claiming that Safe Seating was only being promoted by a ‘vocal minority’.

A parliamentary petition was launched by Safe Standing supporter Jon Darch and in next to no time the magic 100,000 signatures required to consider the matter for a Parliamentary debate was reached. Indeed signatures continue to rise and the petition is the fastest growing Parliamentary petition at this moment in time. Earlier this week Crystal Palace became the first Premier League club to come out and publicly support Safe Standing. It was also pleasing to see NUFC, after debating the matter at last night’s Fan Forum ,tweeting out a link to the petition in order to encourage further debate.
Will the matter now be debated in Parliament? Well co-incidentally the Chair of the Backbench Business Committee –who oversee the introduction of e-petition debates in parliament –is Gateshead MP and fellow Mag Ian Mearns MP who also happens to Chair the All Party Parliamentary Group for football fans which is debating the very issue next week.
We clearly haven’t heard the last of this and await further developments with interest!
NUST

Fans Foodbank Meets Fans Foodbank

The whole concept of starting off a supporter Foodbank at Newcastle United came from the fact that fellow FSF members from Everton and Liverpool had started something similar on Merseyside which was proving to be successful, namely Fans Supporting Foodbanks.
Aware that the problems being faced in the North West would be no different to those faced in the North East, the fact that our own West End Foodbank was the biggest in the country, and on the back of the exposure nationally from the film “I Daniel Blake” we decided to do something about it. In today’s society it’s a disgrace that foodbanks are needed but while they are, we were confident the football fans family would do what they could to help.
Soon, NUST Board member Colin Whittle was meeting fellow fans Bill Corcoran and Steve Hastie from Fans United and the whole NUFC Fans Foodbank grew from there.

We have kept in contact with our fellow fans from Merseyside to learn from their experiences and both our home games against them resulted in donations being received from Everton and Liverpool fans groups under the banner of Fans Supporting Foodbanks. Furthermore, when the FSF organised a national Fans Foodbank conference in October hosted by NUFC once more our Scouse friends attended en- masse with a donation for NUFC Fans Foodbank. We remain grateful that they contributed to our own worthy cause.
It has always been our intention to reciprocate the kind gesture from fellow fans, especially since they inspired the idea in the first place. On Monday evening we were able to provide a donation via NUST Board Member and True Faith editor Alex Hurst who visited

their collection point prior to the Everton match and was able to exchange stories of the work being undertaken and the support provide by NUFC fans in our own great City.
NUFC Fans Foodbank will be back for Saturday’s game. We are proud to be involved in this initiative and grateful to all those who have contributed or been involved in any way. Our thanks go out to our fellow supporters who have made the NUFC Fans Foodbank such a success and to fellow fans on Merseyside for providing guidance and advice.
Football fans working together for a common cause! Hunger doesn’t wear club colours.

Jacqui Forster 1962 – 2018

It was with great regret that we learned of the death of Jacqui Forster yesterday after a long illness. Our sympathy goes out to her friends and family at this difficult time.
Those involved in the Supporters Trust movement will have been well aware of Jacqui’s long involvement with Supporters Direct and when it was proposed to start up a Supporters Trust here at Newcastle United Jacqui was the officer appointed to help with the whole process. Her easygoing manner and pragmatic way of working made the whole process easier. Although an avid supporter of Altringham she did confess to having a soft spot for NUFC through a family connection.
As well as assisting with the setting up of NUST, Jacqui was also able to provide a great deal of help and support when we decided to make an application to have St. James’ Park recognised as an Asset of Community Value under new legislation that had been introduced. At that particular time only a few applications had been made in respect of football stadia and Jacqui was able to guide us through the process resulting in a successful application.
The Supporters Trust movement has lost a great advocate. RIP.

Safe Standing Petition Update

We reported last week that following the decision of Sports Minister Tracey Crouch to reject the application by WBA to install rail seating at The Hawthorns a parliamentary petition to raise the issue had been started by Safe Standing campaigner Jon Darch.

In less than a week the petition has gained more than 70,000 signatures making it one of the quickest growing parliamentary petitions ever.
In circumstances where 100,000 signatures are obtained then there is an obligation to have the matter discussed in parliament. Given the growth of the petition in such a short period it is only a matter of time before the petition reaches the magic 100,000 signatures figure.
If you haven’t signed to date please consider doing so; petition.parliament.uk/petitions/2070
There is no doubt momentum is gathering and the matter is worthy of further debate at the highest level.
NEWCASTLE UNITED SUPPORTERS TRUST

NUFC FANS FOODBANK DONATION STATION

The NUFC Fans Foodbank initiative has been ongoing for just over a year and the collections before NUFC home matches have been well documented, and are part of the match day experience for many.
What has been less well documented is the NUFC Fans Foodbank donation station which is based in the City Centre’s Grainger Market. Opened at the end of last season, in an effort to receive donations from fans in the close season, the initiative has carried on continuously, and is currently based within the Grainger Market at Alley 2, Units 49-50 and is open from 10am on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays.

At the time of writing almost £10k has been collected and the aim is to reach that sum by the first anniversary of the donation stations opening which was on 28th April 2017.
Please feel free to call in, make a donation, and have a chat with the volunteers who all give up their time for free and love a visit. It’s great to see fellow Geordies supporting their own community in times of need!
Newcastle United Supporters Trust

AWAY DAYS-EVERTON

NUST reported last month that our away game against Everton had been moved to Monday 23rd April at short notice, after tickets had been applied for and many fans had already booked travel and accommodation for the original fixture date which had been due to take place on Saturday 21st April.
What came as a major surprise to ourselves was the fact that only a couple of days prior to the change being announced we’d been at a meeting with the Premier League discussing the Spurs away game and when it might be scheduled.
In any event there was an uproar from fans regarding the late change of fixture and we wrote to the club with representations on behalf of supporters who had been inconvenienced by the late fixture alteration.

Fair play to NUFC, who earlier this week announced the following;
‘Newcastle United have announced plans to ease the financial burden on supporters left out-of-pocket after the club’s Premier League fixture at Everton was rescheduled.
The fixture was originally set to take place at 3pm on Saturday 21st April but was moved to an 8pm kick-off on Monday 23rd April after being selected for live broadcast by Sky Sports.
The club is currently gathering information to fully gauge the impact of late fixture rescheduling on supporters with a view to making a goodwill gesture to those genuinely out-of-pocket and will share its findings with the Premier League, other clubs and broadcasters.
Supporters with non-refundable, non-transferrable, pre-paid travel and accommodation bookings are asked to retain relevant booking confirmation.
The club will confirm details of how to formally submit supporting documents shortly and once received, the club will communicate the next steps to applicants directly.
To assist supporters in getting to and from Merseyside for the rescheduled fixture, Newcastle United have made enquiries to charter a later train service from Liverpool Lime Street to Tyneside, however this has not been possible despite the best efforts of the club and the route operator.
As a further gesture of goodwill to supporters who bought tickets before the rescheduling and are still making the trip to Merseyside for the match, Newcastle United will be issuing a food and beverage voucher worth £5 per ticket sold for use at catering and bar kiosks at Goodison Park.
Relevant supporters will receive this voucher in the post alongside their match ticket(s).’
We will continue to work closely with the FSF and other fans groups with a view to influencing the ‘decision makers’ on the subject of TV scheduling. It is important that the views of supporters are considered .We will report back in due course.
NEWCASTLE UNITED SUPPORTERS TRUST

SAFE STANDING UPDATE

The recent refusal of the Government to reject West Bromwich Albion’s application to pilot rail-seating technology at the Hawthorns has catapulted the whole issue of Safe Standing into the public arena. The club had asked for permission to install 3,600 rail-seats at the Hawthorns in both the home end and part of the away end. The application had the backing of both the local Safety Advisory Group and West Midlands Police but Sports Minister Tracey Crouch rejected the application – a decision described as ‘short sighted’ by the club-whilst claiming those in favour of Safe Standing to be in the ‘vocal minority’.
The decision comes only a week after a delegation from Liverpool supporters Group ‘Spirit of Shankly’-following on from their membership voting in favour of rail seating following a consultation exercise last year- visited Celtic Park to observe the operation of Rail Seating at Celtic and described the visit as a ‘positive experience’. The visit included attendance at the pre match briefing and questioning of safety staff about management of the rail seating section and their experience so far. Celtic are now in their second season of Rail Seating since its introduction,which has been praised by fans as helping to bring about a better atmosphere and positive match day experience.
The FSF has been long campaigning for the return of Safe Standing, co-ordinating its member groups to demonstrate support for its campaign, and encouraging positive engagement with stakeholders in the debate including fans themselves, clubs, the FA, EFL, Premier league ,ground Safety Authorities ,Police and the DCMS.

The Head of the FSF’s safe standing campaign Peter Daykin commenting on the decision to reject WBA’s application said ‘the whole tenor of the debate on standing has changed massively in recent years, so this really is a disappointing decision. West Brom have done brilliantly in seeking out a solution for those supporters who want to stand and those who want to sit’
Last year Shrewsbury Town were given the go ahead to install rail seating at New Meadow by the Sports Ground Safety Advisory Authority and ironically they could be facing West Brom next season –one club granted permission to install rail seating, one refused.
As a result of the refusal of West Brom’s application and the subsequent comments from Sports Minister Tracey Crouch claiming those in favour to be in the ‘vocal minority’ Safe Standing campaigner Jon Darch launched a petition to ‘allow Premier League and Championship football clubs to introduce safe standing’. Within 24 hours the petition has collected almost 25,000 signatures with 100,000 signatures required for the petition to be considered for debate in parliament.
You can add your signature to the petition at;
petition.parliament.uk/petitions2070
Whilst supporting the FSF campaign ourselves for Safe Standing, whether you are in favour or against NUST would encourage fans to sign the petition. The matter is worthy of debate at the highest level.
Newcastle United Supporters Trust

Happy Birthday to the Newcastle United Foundation

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending the Ten Year Anniversary of the Newcastle United Foundation at the House of Lords. Lord Jeremy Beecham, previously the Leader of Newcastle City Council and still a season ticket holder at St. James’ Park invited me on behalf of Newcastle United Supporters Trust.
As you’d expect security was high getting into the venue but once inside there was a room full of people interested in what happens at Newcastle United and some who were doing great work in the local community on behalf of the Foundation.
The event was hosted by Lord Beecham, with Jonathan Edwards, from the world of athletics, performing the role of Master of Ceremonies.
A number of high profile guests were in attendance including representatives from the Premier League, Lee Charnley and Bob Moncur from the club and Foundation Trustees, and Patrons Steve Harper and Shola Ameobi who both spoke about the work of the Foundation.
They best speeches were by Foundation project participants Ally, Silke, and Chloe – who have been supported by the Community, Employability, and Disability programmes- who told their stories about how Newcastle United Foundation has positively affected their lives.
The event celebrated a decade since the Foundation began helping disadvantaged young people in the North East – raising more than £13.5 million in 10 years.
Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: ‘For the last ten years the Foundation have been using football as a means to touch the lives of thousands of participants who benefit from our projects.’
‘Last year alone more than 50,000 people were directly impacted by one of our programmes. This event is a celebration of how far we have come, but it’s also a chance to reflect on our plans for the future and how we can continue to help more people in our region.’
The Trust has been campaigning for some time for Newcastle United to promote itself as a “Community Club”. By this we mean :
a club that will work with supporters on fans issues and will recognize their value as the long term custodians of the club, a club that will work with our MPs, the city council and local businesses to play its part in regenerating our area rather than simply billboarding a national sports retailer,a club that will work with local football clubs and schools to develop local talent and keep that talent in the North East, a club that says we can compete, we will compete, we don’t reward mediocrity, we strive for excellence and to be the best we can be in everything we do.
We think the work being done by the Foundation demonstrates a real commitment to strengthening the links between the club and the Tyneside community. Check out some of the great work done by the Foundation here https://nufoundation.org.uk/

Everton -v- Newcastle Rescheduled

At a meeting with Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive on Tuesday I discussed, amongst other things, the problems Newcastle fans have suffered this season from games being rescheduled for TV. We acknowledge that geography means we will travel further than any other fans over a season but late changes to the fixtures can mean serious travel problems and short notice changes can mean extra travel and accommodation costs.
Richard Scudamore assured the meeting that there was always consideration given to what it would mean to fans when a game is chosen for TV. We were sceptical because history doesn’t seem to support what he says. Despite how complicated he made it sound, there was some acceptance on both sides that everyone in the process tries to be as reasonable as possible.
Fast forward two days to Thursday and the news breaks that our game against Everton on Saturday 21st April at 3.00p.m. has been moved for TV to Monday 23rd at 8.00p.m. Monday night games always involve travel problems for our fans but we put up with it to follow the Toon. It feels like someone is taking the p**s when they wait until after tickets have been sold before they reschedule. Fans have already made travel and / or accommodation arrangements for the week-end based on a Saturday game which is now on Monday night.
So, who’s to blame for this?
Nothing was said by the Premier League representatives when we were discussing the TV schedules. It’s difficult to believe they didn’t know the April fixtures were under review.The broadcasters chose yet another Newcastle away game and rescheduled it for a Monday night. Not only do fans now face difficult travel arrangements many will have to take time off work. The club agreed to the revised fixture knowing that they’d already sold tickets and it would cause fans major problems.
The Trust has already taken this up with the Premier League fans group and the Football Supporters Federation. We’ll be asking the club to use the TV money it receives to compensate fans for travel and accommodation costs incurred by a Monday night game. So far they’ve only suggested that tickets that cannot be used will be reimbursed.
This demonstrates more clearly than ever that the vested interests, some may say outright greed, of the Premier League, the broadcasters and the clubs will always trump the inconvenience suffered and costs incurred by the fans. They will eventually kill their own golden goose when fans reach the point where they’ve had enough.
Football is nothing without fans.

NUFC FANS FOODBANK-ONE YEAR ON!

The Nufc Fans Foodbank started operations on 26/1/2017 with a showing of “I Daniel Blake” at the Tyneside Irish Centre. That night, a shocked audience of around 100 saw the film that showed how people in our city were being starved due to failings in government social policy. We were dumbstruck. That night, Sharon Percy, who acted in the film, came to see it with us and has remained a constant friend, giving food, even when she was on the dole herself. Ian Mearns MP spoke to say that the film, if anything, understated the size of the problem.
That night we raised £806 and Mick Martin of True Faith brought a couple of bags of shopping.
The next Saturday 5th February, thanks to the cooperation of Newcastle United, we started matchday collections at the NUFC match vs Derby County. We got half a tonne of food and over£600 including contributions from some Schalke 04 fans who donated German food and British cash.

From that day we’ve continued to grow, we’ve collected over £30,000 in cash and 14.5 tonnes of food at home matches. In May 2017 we asked the Grainger Market and Newcastle City Council to let us use a unit there (Unit 109, aisle 3) and have collected over £4,000 and 8.635 tonnes of food opening 4 days a week. Highlights have been the 10p donations from poor people, because we now know that 10p will buy a tin of beans; the £20 notes from passing Range Rovers, which will feed four families for a week; the Easter Egg donations, the 1000 Advent Calendars before the Watford match and the good hearted, decent generosity of all of our people who’ve helped and chatted and contributed.
In addition we have had gigs at the Tynebank Brewery, The Grainger Market, (Benny Graham singing “Wor Nanny’s a Mazor”), The Tyneside Irish Centre and collections at the Toffee Factory. The North East Art Collective in Eldon Garden have raised over £2,500 from the work of “Serann” an artist inspired by the “I Daniel Blake” film (prints are still available). Also 2 True Faith Transfer nights have raised over £5,000 between them.
We even received a special donation of 20,000 packets of cereal – including Sugar Puffs, which gave us all a smile, remembering the Honey Monster, managed by Kevin Keegan, lifting a trophy at Wembley..Let’s hope life imitates art.
The media at all levels have been fair and sympathetic and have helped us get the truth out. Newcastle United have been wonderful from the MD, Lee Charnley to Wendy Taylor and Lee Marshall to Rafa Benitez (who gave £300 personally) to players like Isaac Hayden who has visited the Foodbank twice. As importantly, the NUFC staff, who don’t get paid much, (Living Wage now!) but who are as close to their community as anyone collect food at home matches. Shona Alexander CE of Newcastle Citizens Advice introduced us to Mike Nixon in the first place without which we’d be a group of fans with a half-full cardboard box. Our MP’s, Chi Onwurah, Cath McKinnell and Ian Mearns (who invented the Shola chant) have been constant supporters with raffle prizes and raising awareness – including Chi’s question to the PM last week – and councillors like Joyce McCarty, Dipu Ahad, Shumel Rahman, Daniel Greenhough and others have helped in many ways. All supporters groups and the people who organise events have helped, like True Faith, Steve Wraith and Newcastle Legends, all at NUST, Nufc Fans Utd, Graeme Forster and Wor Flags who sometimes stop at our collection point to sing a song or two. The wonderful people who volunteer as collectors and get cold and wet pre-match have allowed us to collect more (sometimes £2000 per game) and feed more than we thought was possible and some of them don’t even go to the match afterwards. Finally we thank the many Junior Football Clubs who collect at SJP; we know that a collection at the match is very important to them and they’ve welcomed us and shared the same pavements in Strawberry Place.

Totalling the above donations and using a Trussell Trust formula for “cheap food” costing £1844 per tonne (ours is normal food, so we’ve applied £2000 per tonne), and calling it £1 per packet of cereal, we’ve raised the equivalent of £110,000 in a year. We think this is enough to mean that the Foodbank doesn’t have to travel to London to get half of its food as it did in 2016. However, demand is going up and we need to keep going. Mike Nixon, the outgoing CE of the West End Foodbank says we’ve raised between 15-20% of their income and that, unfortunately, has been needed as the impact of austerity has hit our city.
These figures don’t include the mighty work of Toonaid. Dipu Ahad and Monju Meah have produced the best black and white tops that we’ve seen for years with all proceeds going to the Foodbank. Monju has also set up a means of online donations. They’ve raised thousands but they deserve the credit for their operation and they’ll be able to tell you about that. Monju even gave the Foodbank £750 of a prize he’d been awarded for fundraising activity elsewhere.
We’ve been privileged to work with and know Mike Nixon the outgoing CE of the West End Foodbank. He is a gentle man with strong faith who believes in deeds matching his words. We need to carry on his example until Foodbanks are a distant memory and we can say that when the hungry people of this city needed us, Newcastle United fans, their club, their people and their community fed them food, hope and dignity.
One day people will ask if there was ever such a thing as a Foodbank; we’ll tell them we had the biggest one in Britain right here and we slaughtered it….one day. Until then, we’ll be at the next home match and we will need your help, support, food and money.

Stay with us and stay with the people. We are United.
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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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