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.

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)
NUST

NUFC FANS FOODBANK UPDATE

The NUFC Fans Foodbank held its final collection of the season before the Chelsea home game, but aware that hunger doesn’t stop at the end of the football season, those behind the initiative, including NUST, decided to consider collecting at events during the close season.
Led by stalwart Bill Corcoran, the team of volunteers earmarked the Magic Weekend Rugby tournament at St James Park on 19th May for their first collection. Although they were not able to set up on their normal spot-and collected further along Strawberry Place- which had been turned into a fan zone –it was a very lively area with fans of all of the clubs mixing in what was a friendly atmosphere! NUST Board member Colin Whittle turned up for volunteering duties on what was a very warm afternoon and reported that it was strange collecting outside Nine Bar ,but without knowing anybody milling around the ground. The team put in a canny session from around mid-day until around 4pm and raised over £140. Highlight of the afternoon was when a band appeared ,trumpets etc. ,playing La Bamba ,to be met by a hearty chorus from the volunteers of ‘Rafa Benitez’ much to the amusement of the rugby fans.

The next event on the calendar was a gig down at the 02 by The Farm on 2nd June. Frontman Peter Hooton is very much involved in the Liverpool fan scene and after various conversations from local Mags and a few strings pulled, the band and venue allowed NUFC Fans Foodbank volunteers Bill Corcoran, Steve Hastie and Colin Whittle to set up in the warmth of the venue itself .It was a great night with contributions from gig goers and the Band themselves. Because quite a bit of publicity had been generated many of those attending also arrived with food donations to add to the money collected. After collecting the trio were able to watch the gig-All Together Now!
Next up? The Three Ed Sheeran concerts at St James Park on 8th, 9th and 10th June .Plenty of publicity about the Foodbank collections resulted in those attending the concerts having plenty of awareness of the initiative. Setting up at 5pm each evening –again further along Strawberry Place –volunteers collected until around 8.15pm each evening. Once again NUST turned up for volunteering duties each night and reported that there was an electric atmosphere around the whole event with volunteers acting as ‘ambassadors’ for the City, directing those attending the concerts to the appropriate stand as well as answering a host of other questions…the highlight being ‘can you tell me where the Alan Shearer statue is please?’ Together with the proceeds of a raffle at Nine Bar preceding the concerts a total of £1910.00 was raised over the course of the weekend.

It’s important to remember that the need to feed the hungry of our Region continues all year round and it’s great to see NUFC Fans Foodbank helping out at events in the close season. Particular praise to all those volunteers who give up their own time to help out….and of course to everyone who has contributed in any way.
The NUFC Fans Foodbank continues to be open in the Grainger Market each, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am until 4pm, to accept donations. If you are in Newcastle please call in, all donations are gratefully accepted.
NUST

POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR SAFE STANDING

Ahead of the Parliamentary debate on 25th June the Labour Party came out in support of Safe Standing. At a press conference held at QPR’s Loftus Road shadow sports minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan announced the party’s support saying;
‘It’s time for change. Labour’s decision is the result of in depth consultation with football clubs, fans and safety authorities .we want to give the power to fans, clubs and local safety authorities to allow for a small area inside a stadium to be designated for safe standing, clubs, fans and local authorities know their stadium far better than anybody in Whitehall-the decisions should rest with them’

The policy decision followed on from a positive consultation discussion with representatives from supporters groups, including NUST Chair Peter Fanning, earlier in the week.
The Government also said it would review its position on Safe Standing with a spokesman stating;
‘We recognise that technology and stadium design has evolved since the all seater policy was introduced and the time is right to look at the issue’.
This is all happening ahead of the Parliamentary debate in parliament on 25th June .We await the debate with interest.
NUST

WINTER BREAK

Last week the FA/Premier League/EFL announced the introduction of a winter break in English football for the first time, commencing from the start of the 2019/20 season.
Due to take place in February with a two week winter break seeing a round of Premier League games split over two weekends with the FA Cup 5th round -remember that? – moving to a midweek .5th round replays will be scrapped to be replaced with extra time and penalties to accommodate the change.

Interesting to see that whilst the FA pressed ahead with its plan to introduce the winter break the research from Football Supporters Federation (FSF) carried out in its 2016 survey as part of its ‘Whole Game Solution’ showed that match going fans were largely opposed to its introduction-37% being ‘absolutely opposed’ to a winter break, 24 % being ‘broadly opposed’ to the idea.
An FSF spokesman said; ‘we are disappointed that supporters views have been outweighed by other factors in the decision’.
Whatever your view-for or against a winter break- there’s no doubt that moving the fifth round to mid -week will create potential travel issues for supporters…as if we don’t have enough already!….and how long before clubs embark on lucrative winter break ‘tours’? One to watch .
NUST

Safe Standing Update

The refusal earlier this year of the Government to reject West Bromwich Albion’s application to pilot rail-seating technology at the Hawthorns catapulted the whole issue of Safe Standing into the public arena to a degree that supporters could hardly have anticipated. 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 came 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 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.

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 promoted a petition to ‘allow Premier League and Championship football clubs to introduce safe standing’. The petition collected over 112,000 resulting in the matter being listed for a Parliamentary debate on 25th June 2018.
Ahead of that debate in order to obtain the views of supporters Shadow Sports Minister Dr Rosena Allin -Khan has called a meeting of national supporter organisations, which will take place in London tomorrow, and NUST will be in attendance represented by Chair Peter Fanning.
On the Eve of the meeting the Government announced that it was starting a review of all-seater stadium policy in the top two divisions stating ‘the time is now right’ to look at the law in this area.

There is no doubt that momentum is gathering and changes are likely in the near future. More information to follow!
Newcastle United Supporters Trust

PRE -SEASON FIXTURES

As supporters await the release of next seasons fixtures later this month details of our pre-season schedule have already been released. Here’s some dates for your diaries;

Tue 17.07.2018 St. Patrick’s Athletic (Ireland) (a) @ Richmond Park, Dublin, 7.45pm. Friendly. Tue 24.07.2018 Hull City (a) @ KCOM Stadium, 7.45pm. Friendly. Sat 28.07.2018 FC Porto (Portugal) (a) @ Dragao Stadium, Porto, KO tbc. Friendly. Wed 01.08.2018 team tbc (a) @ venue tbc, KO tbc. Friendly. Sat 04.08.2018 FC Augsburg (Germany) (h) @ SJP, 3pm. Friendly.
Ticket details are yet to be released but potential trips to Ireland and Portugal have already been subject to plenty of discussion amongst fans!
NUST

NUFC FANS FOODBANK-OUT AND ABOUT!

It has been a pleasure to be involved with NUFC Fans Foodbank since its inception in February 2017 with NUST Board members Colin Whittle and Mal McLean regular match day volunteers. Match day collections are now well established and the response from supporters has been unbelievable, donating both cash and food. Unity in the Community! Newcastle fans supporting those less well off in our community.
However, now the football season is at a close, alternative ways of raising funds are being explored by NUFC Fans Foodbank…after all hunger is not a seasonal thing.
The Donation Station at Newcastle Grainger Market is now well established opening on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am until 4pm- if you want to help out please drop in!-and brings in a constant stream of contributions but more is needed.

So the team behind NUFC Fans Foodbank have been out and about.
Firstly to St James Park for ‘Magic Weekend’ Rugby…a strange experience in the sense that it was a totally different crowd, and the well – established volunteers turned out to be ‘strangers in their own city’ not being able to chat to our usual regular contributors.
Then last weekend we were pleased to be able to set up at the ‘The Farm’ gig at the O2 with Bill Corcoran and Steve Hastie. There was a great response from those attending the concert and the band themselves. Thanks to everyone who made that happen. A great experience .All Together Now!

What next? Well its back to St James Park this weekend, setting up at the usual spot opposite NINE Bar before the Ed Sheeran concerts. A different crowd perhaps, but hopefully one that will be fully supportive of the cause. If you are reading this article, and you are aware of people who are attending please let them know about NUFC Fans Foodbank, hopefully they will be willing to contribute. Every little bit helps!
NUST

Away fans survey

For the last five years the FSF have been seeking the views of fans who follow their clubs up and down the country with the ultimate aim being to improve the away fans experience and encourage more supporters to watch their team away from home.

Here at NUFC, supporters travel in numbers, selling out our allocations wherever we go. If you are an away traveller you’ll have clocked up many miles during the course of the season, in many cases at great cost and inconvenience. No doubt you will have views on a wide range of subjects in relation to away travel-likes, dislikes, whether or not you feel taken for granted or valued in anyway.

The views of supporters helps shape the issues that the FSF discuss with clubs and football authorities. Remember the whole ‘twentys plenty’ campaign and capping of away tickets in the Premier League was due to the excellent work undertaken by the FSF. Make your views known to the FSF by completing their survey which can be found at;
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/away-fans

Fans Forum – Is It Working?

Late last month was the first meeting of the Fans Forum for nearly a year. During that time there had been disappointing transfer windows, and the club had been put up for sale by the owner. NUST had raised the failure of the club to call meetings with the Premier League. Fans were desperate for information about what was going on but it seemed to many that the more there was to talk about the less likely the club were to meet with the fans.
We’ve pushed for future meetings to be diaried in advance and that has now been agreed so let’s hope those dates aren’t missed. The detailed minutes have been issued and can be seen here:
This report isn’t going to go through the minutes again as we don’t dispute the accuracy of them as a formal record from the meeting. I will, as usual try to report on my feelings about being part of the Forum and what it might mean to fans.
Since the minutes were published there has been a lot of reaction mainly through social media but also in the local media. Much of it has been critical of the process and in some cases critical of those who attend the Forum. This seems to be because there were no major controversies or big statements from the club to catch the eye.
Whatever those who weren’t there think about the role of Forum members, questions were asked about the ticket loyalty scheme, supporter safety and security issues around the ground, the national issue of safe standing, the Premier League’s requirement to relocate away fans to pitch side, the future development of St. James’ Park, fixture schedules affected by TV, when the club accounts would be published, transfer issues and commercial income.
There’s no doubt that Lee Charnley and the other club representatives are much better at answering questions than they were at the beginning. Nothing to suggest this time that cups weren’t a priority, that mid table mediocrity was all we were aiming for and there wasn’t a pay day lender in sight. Neither was there, however, the kind of shining ambition we hear from Rafa Benitez when he talks about what he wants to achieve at Newcastle. The non-football senior management are much better at trying to manage expectations than providing inspirational leadership in their dealings with the fans.
The Trust has always tried to represent questions from our members when we attend the Forum. Our role is to develop a better dialogue between the club and fans and we try to do that by encouraging ongoing dialogue and discussion even though at times we are not happy with the answers we get from the club.
I was unhappy with the club’s responses about future development of St. James’ Park, their answer about when the club accounts would be published was unacceptable and the way they explain our level of commercial income is never convincing. Little was to be gained, however, by pursuing these points once the club stated their position.
We persuaded the club to commit to future Forum dates, they agreed to support the need for national discussions about safe standing, they have worked with Forum members and the City Council over road closures on match days and a working group involving fans was organised to review the loyalty points scheme for away tickets. These things may not have generated enough controversy to warrant media headlines but they are important to many fans.
Anyone unhappy about what is asked should contact Forum members before the meeting to discuss questions they might want raised, this includes members of the local media and all fans who are interested. The Trust’s part in the Forum has not been without incident and it is nowhere near a perfect system but perhaps those who criticise how it operates should look to play a more active part.

SAFE STANDING-PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE

Supporters will be aware from previous NUST articles of the recent high profile surrounding the Safe Standing Campaign and in particular of the Parliamentary petition which has now gained over 111,000 signatures, passing the 100,000 required to have the matter considered for debate in Parliament.

The government have now released a statement in response to the petition which is detailed below;
‘’The Government believes that all-seater stadia are currently the best means to ensure the safety and security of fans at designated football matches in England and Wales.
The Government thanks all the football supporters who made their views known through this petition.
The Government believes that all-seater stadia are currently the best means to ensure the safety and security of fans at designated football matches in England and Wales, while continuing to work closely with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and football authorities to consider advances in technology and data that may enhance the existing policy.
A debate in Parliament on this issue has been tabled for 25 June, when the nuances and complexities of sports ground safety will be covered in more detail.
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’’
As previously reported the issue is to be debated on 25th June 2018.We will report on any further developments.
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.

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