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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.

NUST ARTICLE FOR TRUE FAITH

NEWCASTLE UNITED-THE COMMUNITY FOOTBALL CLUB.
There’s no end of speculation going at present regarding the sale of Newcastle United .We seem to have a ‘willing’ seller and a ‘willing’ buyer and whilst the whole process is obviously complicated there seems a possibility that in the near future we could have a new owner. I don’t think it’s controversial to suggest that the great majority of our supporters will be glad to see the back of the current owner, who I think it’s fair to suggest has used our club more for the promotion of his sports retail business than for the benefit of NUFC itself.
Presuming a new owner does takeover, whilst many will be relieved to see the back of Mr Ashley there will be the interesting question about what does any new owner envisage for the future of Newcastle United.

In 2015 NUST undertook a piece of work entitled ‘Whose Club is it?’ which looked at what we believed a future Newcastle United would look like. At part of this work we organised a Conference which co-incidentally took place shortly after Rafa took over- where supporter’s organisations from England and Scotland attended to discuss the topic of fan engagement and the different forms it took at their own clubs. Attendees included supporters from ‘fan owned’ clubs to those with ‘a formal seat on the Board’ .A common theme to the day was the belief that regardless of who actually owned football clubs (in the strict legal sense) they should be community owned focused representing the areas in which they were based.
We released our ‘Community Ownership Statement’ to coincide with the Conference which focused on what we believed any new owner should be aiming towards;
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 bill boarding 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.
I mentioned earlier that all of this was against the backdrop of Rafa’s appointment because there’s no doubt that there has been a ‘step change’ in many areas, both on and off the field, since his appointment.
Despite relegation in 2016, the reaction of supporters showed at our final game of the season against Spurs how highly we, the supporters, rated him. We know from sources close to Rafa that he was taken aback by the response of fans at that game, which contributed, in no short measure to him deciding to stay and manage us in the Championship. For that, we will always be eternally grateful. He galvanised our support and gave back a feeling of pride to both supporters and the City itself. Instead of struggling like many relegated teams, he led the club to immediate promotion as Champions.
Rafa sees Newcastle United as a long term ‘project’, he ‘gets’ the club and its supporters. He knows exactly what Newcastle United means to its supporters and what a successful club would mean for the city and the wider region. He’s invited fanzines and fan groups in to talk to him about what’s important to fans, he’s reorganising the way the Academy works with a view to bringing through more of our own talent, the club are now more actively involved with local politicians and businesses and from our own perspective Newcastle United Supporters Trust has been invited back to the Fans Forum,
Initiatives such as NUFC Fans Foodbank, Gallowgate Flags and Wor Hyem have shown the positive inter-action between the club and a fan base that was becoming increasingly alienated .The club should be praised for their new approach. Closer association and promotion of the Newcastle United Women’s Football Club and adoption of the minimum wage for all staff would further cement club ties with their community.
The Newcastle United Foundation who previously appeared to many to be detached from the Club are coming on leaps and bounds supporting many initiatives and programmes in our area….and wider. Their plans for the future seem to be very positive.

From our perspective, we would hope that any new owner sees the positive aspect of meaningful fan engagement, recognising the great benefits that fans can play, and how Newcastle United integrated into the heart of our local community can be of mutual benefit for all concerned.
Newcastle United remains, in our view, perhaps the greatest untapped football club in Europe. The possibilities are endless. We hope any new owner seizes this opportunity to work with the supporters to take the club to its full potential.
NUST

Under Offer

After a period of speculation it appears that an offer to purchase Newcastle United has been made on behalf of Amanda Staveley and PCP Group although the exact details of the offer, believed to be in the region of around £300M and subject to various conditions, are obviously unknown to anybody other than those closely involved in the deal.
Mike Ashley has publicly stated his desire to sell the club and hopefully now that an offer has been made, both parties can come together and reach a deal on terms acceptable to both sides.
For our part we would ask Mr Ashley to consider, given his stated desire to sell the club, to take a realistic and pragmatic approach to the offer in the hope that a deal can be concluded within a reasonable timeframe – particularly in light of the opening of the transfer window in January 2018.

We hope an imminent sale can usher in a new era at Newcastle United.
In the meantime we urge our supporters to continue their backing for Rafa and the team. Whilst we can have no influence as to what happens off the field in relation to negotiations over the sale of the club, our continued support to the team will be vital in forthcoming fixtures, starting at home against Watford on Saturday.

Saturday Night Live

Negotiations are underway for the new TV contract and there have been suggestions in the media that the new deal will include Saturday night games. The Trust are not aware of how serious this proposal might be and have been contacted by other Premier League Trusts and the football Supporters Federation (FSF) to support fans’ opposition to Saturday night slots. The following is the statement issued by the FSF and agreed to by the Trust Board.
The FSF notes with concern media reports of a possible significant increase in the number of Premier League matches to be broadcast live under the next three-year broadcast deal from 2019.
We re-affirm our opposition to any increase in the number of games to be televised live, and while we reluctantly recognise the imposition by Ofcom of a minimum of 190 live broadcast games per season – half of all games, and itself an increase of 22 per season over the current arrangements – we remain firmly opposed to any increase beyond that number.
Any additional broadcast games would mean even more changes to kick-off times away from 3:00pm on Saturdays, with an impact of both uncertainty and inconvenience to the match-going fans, especially away fans, whose passion is a huge component of the “product” that broadcasters want to buy and sell.
It is our hope that any increase in the number of live TV games can be accommodated in existing broadcast slots, and reaffirm our call for the interests of match-going fans to be considered when selecting and scheduling games. Particularly in the event of a new Saturday evening TV slot being created, we urge clubs and broadcasters to give due consideration to issues of geography and travel, and to invest some of the huge broadcast revenues into supporting the attendance and contribution of match-going fans, especially away fans.

Loving the Toon

The Trust was recently approached for help by Streetwise Opera, a homelessness charity. They wanted stories from Toon fans about their love for NUFC to incorporate into a production they are planning for April 2018 and we were happy to help.
Homelessness is on the rise. Welfare budgets continue to be cut. Fundraising is harder than ever. Homeless people need more than a bed and a roof. They need to be heard, to be recognised as someone
of worth, to learn new skills, and to feel wanted by a society which often finds it easier to look away.
Streetwise Opera provides weekly singing and acting workshops in homeless centres and arts venues across the country, increasing participants’ wellbeing and social inclusion, helping them develop the skills and confidence needed to reintegrate into society.
They have an upcoming major production, Tell Me The Truth About Love. Directed by Olivier-award winning Bijan Sheibani, it will be performed in April at the Sage Gateshead. It tells the story of 100 years of love on Tyneside, celebrating the rich offering of the North East – its talents and history.
The story will be told through the medium of a wedding, with audiences the wedding guests. Love in its many forms will be showcased as the bride, groom, best man and even a long-lost cousin break into song and tell their tales.
The show is inspired by variously funny and heart-breaking local tales, from passion aboard the Tuxedo Princess to a die-hard fan’s devotion to Newcastle United. The production will also feature new music created by composers Will Todd and Anna Appleby, and local songs including Jimmy Nail’s Big River and Bridie Jackson’s Final Lullaby.
Find out more about the production and how you might be able to help at http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/loveopera

NUFC FANS FOODBANKSUNITY IN OUR COMMUNITY!

Pre Crystal Palace match we rocked up as normal, 1pm, at the NUFC Fans Foodbank stall opposite Nine Bar –plastic bag in hand with this week’s donation- in order to report in for volunteering duties.
As usual, a steady stream of fans dropped by with donations, others calling by to drop some change in the collecting tins. As well as being a great cause the stall has become a hub of pre match activity with many fans having a good chat when calling by, either about the forthcoming match, or indeed any number of other NUFC related topics.
On Saturday pre Palace, local reporters George Caulkin and Luke Edwards were spotted, along with Mike Martin from NUFC fanzine True Faith, I Daniel Blake actress Sharon Percy. NUFC Fans Foodbank enthusiasts Bill Corcoran and Steve Hastie were both there chatting about all things NUFC.
Together with all of the willing volunteers led by the ‘Boss’ Mike Nixon it makes for an interesting couple of hours before the match…….and then around 2.30ish the highlight of the day.

The lads and lasses from Wor Hyem and Wor Flags came marching along Strawberry Place, flags flying, carrying banners, singing at the top of their voices and at the front carrying a new Banner ‘Support NUFC Fans Foodbank’, to call in on their journey from the North Terrace pub to the Gallowgate via NUFC Fans Foodbank stall!

Very emotional I have to confess, and what an atmosphere when they arrived at the Foodbanks stall to hand over their donations and collections as well as the banner ‘Support NUFC Fans Foodbank’.
There followed plenty of backslapping, hand shaking, singing and even Foodbanks leader Mike Nixon was hauled in front of the banner for a photograph. Thanks to Wor Hyem/Wor Flags and the North Terrace it’s greatly appreciated. Fans working together!
I felt really proud to be part of what we are doing for those within our community less fortunate than ourselves. Unity in the Community!
NUST BOARD

Happy Christmas Eve

The latest round of television games were announced on Thursday and will see 24 matches broadcast live throughout December.
Earlier this month there were reports that broadcasters were proposing to show live Premier League games on Christmas Eve. Rumours surfaced that Newcastle’s game at West Ham was being considered. Peter Fanning, NUST Vice Chair contacted the Head of PR at Sky Sports to be told that things weren’t finalised but Christmas Eve was a Sunday and they had a commitment to subscribers to show football on a Sunday. NUST joined with other supporter organisations across the country, and together with the Football Supporters Federation, lobbied against the idea. Last week in a meeting with supporter representatives, attended by Peter Fanning, Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said that no 4pm kick-offs would be allowed on Christmas Eve, but that other broadcast slots were still being considered.
The broadcast schedule for December announced on Thursday contains no Christmas Eve kick-offs. The Football Supporters’ Federation said: "Fans will be relieved to see that broadcasters and the Premier League have backed away from the idea of a Christmas Eve fixture. It was never popular with match-going fans and we’re happy to say they have listened – more of the same in future please!
"Top-flight clubs receive billions from broadcasters and more of that revenue should be used to help fans with travel when games are rescheduled for TV."
This is a great example of fans working together to get our

voices heard and fair play to the Premier League and to the broadcasters who have listened to our concerns and done the right thing.
Peter Fanning
Vice Chair

FANS FOODBANK CONFERENCE

Following the success of Supporter Foodbanks in Merseyside, Glasgow and more recently our own NUFC Fans Foodbank the Football Supporters Federation arranged a conference at St James’ park on Friday 13th October. Fans of a host of clubs attended and including other local clubs, Sunderland, Boro and Hartlepool.
It was particularly impressive to see a huge Scouse contingent which consisted not only of football supporters but representatives from a number of agencies and their lead Councillor-all who had appeared to be working closely on their foodbank and other related Projects
The day kicked off with introductions from Kevin Miles, CE of the FSF and local MP Chi Onwurah before handing over to Gateshead MP and lifelong Mag Ian Mearns, who explained his role as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group of Football Supporters.
There then followed a session with representatives from Merseyside led by David Kelly from Everton and Ian Byrne from Liverpool who explained the work they did in setting up their own Supporters Foodbank and their integration with agencies and within their own community. A wide range of questions and comments from the floor followed with many attendees outlining their own experiences.
A session from Celtic Foundation followed on how the issue of Foodbanks had been approached north of the Border. It was particularly interesting listening to their speaker from their own Foodbanks,Tara, who described how she had progressed from homeless, living in a car, to volunteering, and now to running a number of Foodbanks in and around Glasgow.

The final speaker was Mike Nixon, of our own West End Foodbanks explaining the role they play in supporting the local community, and talking about the assistance NUFC Fans Foodbank have given since the whole idea of setting up a supporter Foodbank was first mooted around a year ago. Our own NUST Board member Colin Whittle talked about how the idea moved from inception to reality and Bill Corcoran echoed the feeling of the floor about the contributions fans can make and the difference being made by NUFC Fans Foodbank.
The main aim of the whole day was to enable fans to learn from others and share experiences for the greater benefit and there was no doubt that this aim was achieved. A working group was established consisting of representatives from Newcastle, Celtic and Merseyside in order to progress things on a national basis.
The whole event showed the power of football fans working for the greater good of their communities and bringing those communities closer together .It was a privilege to be in attendance but there’s more work to do!
NUST BOARD

For Sale

First thoughts, about time too………then BUT we’ve been here before. The Club’s been up for sale and taken off the market several times before and in truth has always been for sale at the right price. This time feels like it might be for real though and fans should be excited at the thought of an owner who will be prepared to take the Club forward as a football project rather than using it as a billboard for their main business interest.
Whoever the new owners are, make no mistake it’s still OUR club. Owners, Directors, Managers and players are all transient, the support remains as the constant.
What the Trust wants is an owner who will position the Club in the local community in a way that recognises that the fans, the City Council and the local MPs are not the enemy. That working together with our world class manager we can take the Club to the next level, and beyond. We don’t want to accept mid table mediocrity as our goal, we want our team to win trophies, to compete at the highest level and to set standards of excellence that our support deserves.
We want owners who will engage with the fans in a meaningful way and will allow the fans voice to be heard at the highest level in a way that helps to influence Club policy. With a change of Government fans may get representation at Board level, new owners at Newcastle could take the opportunity to get ahead of the game and offer that without waiting for legislation to force the issue. We will want to make representation to any new owners about the benefits of committing to the principles of being a Community Club.
In the meantime we are watching with interest what happens. Mr Ashley has said previously that the Club was for sale, and then hasn’t sold it. He’s said he’s here for the long haul and won’t leave until we’ve won things, and now we’re up for sale again. During his time the Club have been taken to Tribunals twice, lost both and been criticised for the quality of their evidence and they are currently under investigation by HMRC.
We understand that Mr Ashley’s people are suggesting that a sale could happen by Christmas. Let’s hope we are all looking forward to a fantastic new year in 2018.
NUST Board

Fans Foodbanks event – SJP

The NUFC Fans Foodbank is less than one year old and it’s accepted that it’s been a resounding success. Supporters and our local community have bought into the concept of helping our own whether by contributing to match day collections, to the donation station at the Grainger Market or supporting one of the NUFC Fans Foodbank fundraising events such as the rock night or the TF transfer forum evening. The club have come on board and both Rafa and Isaac Hayden have provided wise words in support .There is no doubt that the work being undertaken by NUFC Fans Foodbank have inspired supporters up and down the country to consider following in our footsteps.
Here at NUST we have been contacted by a number of fans groups asking for advice about setting up similar initiatives. We’ve given advice and support where we can but the growth in interest for Supporter Foodbanks has led to the Football Supporters Federation setting up a conference at St James Park this Friday 13th October.
Supporters from up and down the country will be attending to listen to a range of speakers and learn from other fans groups who have set up their own support for Foodbanks. Whilst we gained our inspiration from what supporters were doing in Merseyside with ‘Supporting Foodbanks’ we hope that the efforts of NUFC Fans Foodbank will inspire other supporters.
If you are free, get yourself there…check out www.fsf.org.uk for details ….you never know there may also be a surprise speaker!
NUST

Xmas Eve Football

Just over a week ago NUST became aware via our network of links with other supporter groups that consideration was being given to Sky moving fixtures to Christmas Eve ,which this year is on a Sunday .Under their deal with the Premier League Sky can choose to move two fixtures at their discretion to 1.30pm and 4pm on a Sunday.
Initial rumours came about via a request that had apparently been made to Arsenal as to whether or not they had any objection to their home game against Liverpool being moved to Christmas Eve.
Premier League Trusts/fan groups quickly jumped into action agreeing a joint statement which opposed the moving of games to Christmas Eve not least because of the logistics of travel for both home and away fans, at that time of the year.
Given that we were due to play West ham away on 23rd,our game immediately sprung to mind as one with the potential for being moved leading to the obvious travel problems which would arise from such a move, especially to the 4pm time slot. It’s fair to say the televised fixtures haven’t been kind to us this season so far, Brighton/Swansea and Southampton all having been moved to a Sunday 4pm KO slot.
Pressure has been quickly brought to bear upon the football authorities by fans groups –we ourselves have written to both NUFC and Sky-and led by the Football Supporters Federation we attended a meeting with the Premier League today where having listened to our representations they have agreed not to take up a 4pm televised game on Christmas Eve. A small victory so far but it just goes to show what fans can do when working together.
We’ll update once we have further information later this month.
NUST
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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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