Takeover Town Hall Online Event RECAP

Events / Meeting Minutes / NUST Comment / NUST News - 04-05-2020

Dear Member,

Tonight board member Greg Tomlinson co-hosted an online town hall event alongside Chi Onwurah and George Caulkin and earlier we sent out a link for members to watch the live stream on YouTube.

We would like to thank everyone who signed up to attend the event and all those that watched on YouTube tonight too. We had over 12% of Trust Membership click the live-stream link tonight and watch along.

Please find below the speech that Greg gave on behalf of the Trust board in case you missed it and a full length video of the town hall event including appearances from board Chair Alex Hurst, board members Linda Bush, Peter Maughan and several NUFC Trust members.

Thank you for your support.

NUST Board

Good evening, my name is Greg Tomlinson and I am one of the Board members of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust- thank you to Chi for calling this event and of course to today’s host George and to all of today’s speakers and those in attendance. First of all some context.

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust is a not for profit society. We are affiliated to the Football Supporters Association and are one of the largest supporters’ trusts in England with approximately 10,000 members. Membership is open to all. The Trust exists to achieve the greatest possible supporter and community influence in the running of Newcastle United.

It seems that the end of Mike Ashley’s disastrous 13 year is near. And today is an opportunity to share your views on our prospective new owners.

We recently ran a member survey, with 97% of our members telling us they support this takeover. It is worth noting that a number of those in favour of the takeover also expressed concerns about our prospective new owners.

Many Newcastle fans will have concerns about the human rights record of Saudi Arabia, as do fans of many other clubs. It is not impossible to be excited by Ashley's departure, enthusiastic about Newcastle United once again being interested in moving forward and acquiring some sporting ambition for the first time in 13 years and still feel concerned about human rights issues wherever they occur in the world.

These feelings aren't exclusive. You can subscribe to both of them. Newcastle fans do not hold power here nor should they. Human rights issues are not something that football fans fix.

The idea that fans bear some sort of responsibility in a system like this is beyond absurd. We didn't choose Mike Ashley and we don't choose our new owners, it's not a preference, not a political allegiance, it is modern football in 2020. We support Newcastle United Football Club, founded in 1892, not the owner and the supporters will be here before and after any owners are gone.

So what do we want from any new owners?


• A Club that will seek to achieve long term football and financial success, based on a sustainable model of financial investment in players and infrastructure, in particular through investment in St. James’ Park, the training ground and academy.

• New owners that will respect the traditions and history of the club.

• A club with a strong community focus, with the Club playing its part in the sporting, cultural, social and economic life of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the wider region.

• A Club that will operate in an open and transparent manner, giving the fans a voice in the running of the club through the Trust.

• A Club that will value its supporters and will be open and accessible to all supporters of the Club regardless of their age, income, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality or religious or moral belief.

• A Club that will seek to represent the city and wider region with pride and will strive to be the best it can be and aspire to compete at the highest level of competition, both nationally and internationally.

And with that in mind – a stronger Trust will have greater influence – we have close to 10,000 members but out voice would be even greater with 50,000 or 100,000 - I hope and encourage those joining us tonight that aren’t members to sign up now – it’s only a pound!

Thank you.