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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Why you should join Newcastle United Supporters Trust

This article was originally published on The Mag

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust has been around for ages.

It’s done good work, indifferent work and sometimes no work.

Some people don’t know what it is, others are weary because of failed fan movements that have come before us.

This is a new Newcastle United Supporters Trust with a new board in place.

We came together in January with the simple goal of rebuilding the Supporters Trust making it into a key fan organisation, untainted by the past and excited by the future.

The Supporters Trust exists to represent you.

It exists to give Newcastle United supporters a voice where they have none.

From issues such as safe standing, ticket prices, away allocations and accessibility and inclusion at St James’ Park – we are your best bet.

We work with the Football Supporters Association (now the FSA, formerly the FSF) on fan issues and our membership drives our agenda. We are a wholly democratic institution where one member is only one vote. No individual has more of a say than any other.

I didn’t join the Trust with any designs of ever joining the Trust board or leading it. Any member can stand for election and any member can join the board. It’s an organisation that belongs to you, not me or anyone else.

We have a brand new website ready very soon with log-in functionality and we will take votes on matters through that and by email.

We will be holding public meetings and doing our very best to represent our 4,000 strong (and rapidly growing) membership.

Ultimately, our aim is to own 51% of Newcastle United.

That might not be realistic in the Premier League, but then we will want to work with any new ownership in the future to give fans a say at board level in the running of their football club.

We need a vibrant, committed and huge membership to do that. So join us. We need you.

Alex Hurst (Chair of Newcastle United Supporters Trust)

To join Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) it is only £1 for a year’s membership – Go HERE

Or to become a member for life it is £10 – Go HERE

You can follow on Twitter @nufctrust and visit the website at www.nufctrust.co.uk

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What now for furious Newcastle United fans? However you feel after Rafa Benitez’s departure, this is one thing you must do

This article was originally published on ChronicleLive

In the five stages of post-Rafa Benitez grief, it feels like most Newcastle United fans are yet to get past the second stage: anger.

As Benitez prepares to leave and United continue to offer scant detail about future direction to mystified supporters, crisis is brewing. For many, irreperable damage has been done by the Benitez decision – which not only leaves Newcastle rudderless ahead of the new season but also has the more profound impact of suggesting that a manager who aspired to more has no place at St James’ Park.

In the five stages of post-Rafa Benitez grief, it feels like most Newcastle United fans are yet to get past the second stage: anger.

As Benitez prepares to leave and United continue to offer scant detail about future direction to mystified supporters, crisis is brewing. For many, irreperable damage has been done by the Benitez decision – which not only leaves Newcastle rudderless ahead of the new season but also has the more profound impact of suggesting that a manager who aspired to more has no place at St James’ Park.

Last season the explosion of online anger faciliated the creation of The Magpie Group , who made early headway by leading protests outside Sports Direct. But calls to action in the stadium – including a walk-in and a boycott, which was eventually postponed – illustrated how difficult it is to direct anger into something tangible among a huge fanbase that prides itself – quite rightly – on its loyalty.

None of this is to say that Newcastle fans aren’t feeling deeply concerned about the state of their football club, which is a prize community asset. Anger this time isn’t about not challenging for honours or the suitability of the manager, it is about something more profound: the absence of hope, communication or connection to a support that should be its greatest asset. And – considering Ashley’s lengthy rap sheet – the feeling that while he has the keys to the castle, it is not worth getting behind.

Nothing brought this home more than Wor Flags’ decision to suspend activities while Ashley remains in charge. A Benitez-inspired fan-led movement that was the envy of the Premier League has been undercut by the owner’s decision-making – wiping out the hard work of volunteers and club staff alike. It is all just so depressing.

But how do United fans channel those feelings into something more constructive? Step forward Alex Hurst, the new chair of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust.

Since Monday’s devastating announcement of Benitez’s departure, the Trust has seen membership rocket to the 4,000 mark on the back of a publicity drive to time with the popular manager’s exit. Hard work behind-the-scenes, where a new board was constituted in January, mean they have ambitious plans that can make an impact at a fairly advanced stage.

They are also, crucially, in a good place to cope with an influx of members looking for something – anything – to offer some hope.

Hurst – who was one of the founding members of Wor Flags in its previous iteration as Gallowgate Flags – explains: “We’ve seen the different protest movements over the years and I’d never criticise anyone for doing anything they think can help the football club but I think people are looking for something different right now.

“The Rafa news has given us a bit of extra impetus. We had around 500 members when I first took over in January and that had gone up to 1,000 before Monday but we’re now nearing 4,000. For the Trust, it’s about strength in numbers as it gives us more authority to speak on behalf of those Trust members. We don’t say we are speaking on behalf of all Newcastle fans, but we can speak on behalf of the Trust and if that means more Newcastle fans then all the better.”

Trust membership has been cut to £1 and, as Hurst points out, they are the only democratically elected fan group who are recognised by both the Premier League and the club, who have to seek dialogue with them as part of the top flight constitution.

They have spoken out about club issues – a strident statement on Benitez’s departure arrived on Tuesday – and have plans to make an impact in the coming weeks. But it’s in a different vein from the Magpie Group or calls to boycott the Arsenal game in protest. They can get in front of Lee Charnley at the Fans Forum, for example, and try to seek answers about what is going on.

“The aim is to one day own 51% in Newcastle United. Is that realistic any time soon in the Premier League? Maybe not. But we would like the club to change ownership and work with a new owner to have fan representation on the board,” he says.

“We have a relationship with the club. Does that mean we support all of their decisions? No I’m personally gutted the manager has left and the club finds itself where it does. But the club have been positive with us since Janauary in terms of communication and wanting our help on areas that affect the club.”

For fed-up fans, the long game might seem pointless right now. But the bigger the organisation grows, the more fans are represented by it and the more skilled up members join, the more impact it can have. 

Plans to work with possible consortiums looking to take the club over are being considered while there is one major project set to be announced in a matter of weeks.

For those worried about how it is run, the £1 ownership fee buys one vote. This correspondent has joined and can vouch for many on the reconsistuted board. Elections in October can change the board; the accounts will be independently audited. There is no better way of making your voice heard.

“The aim is to get to 10,000 members before the start of the season,” Hurst says. “We believe in a successful, open Newcastle United where fans can play their part.” In weeks like this, surely it isn’t asking too much to support that aim?

Anyone who wants to join the NUST can do so here .

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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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