The Newcastle United Supporters Trust have launched a bid to buy a stake in Newcastle United once the Club is sold by Mike Ashley. There has been a lot of fuel added to the fire and although Rio Ferdinand distastefully made a recent tongue and cheek comment about Newcastle Fans buying the football club themselves, I don’t think this was the driver for segments of fans to take control. What has been the fuel has been the media showing small amounts of empathy during a very tricky campaign and us fans at this time fear the worst, and can see us easily turning into a Leeds United who dropped down to League One within four years of being relegated back in 2003.
Mike Ashley still has ambition to secure a sale for the football club with Saudia Arabia’s PIF, with the legalities still in progress in their arbitration hearing. We as fans can’t rely on this and there is a risk that if we do get relegated and Mike Ashley sells to a consortium that runs a football club like former Leeds United owners once did, we want to be in a position to have a voice. The 1892 pledge ((named after the year Newcastle United was formed) has officially launched and chairman of the NUST Greg Tomlinson has said today “For decades, fans have been told they are the lifeblood of the club, but when major decisions are made, they are always left out. “It is an unfortunate fact that in football, as in life, money talks. Therefore, we feel that if we as fans really want to be an active part of conversations that will dictate the future of Newcastle United, we have to put our money where our mouth is. “Raising funds will give us the financial backing to make our voices properly heard as and when the club is eventually sold.”
What is important is to have good structure behind this bid and with that comes good people. The NUST have given ‘guardian’ title to four individuals who have reliable and relative links with a strong passion for the club. We have George Caulkin who is a journalist for The Athletic who has been reporting on North East Football for twenty seven years and was a former season ticket holder in the Gallowgate End at St. James’ Park. George is also a Patron of The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Warren Barton who was a former Newcastle United player and played in the black and white for seven years. Warren has been an avid follower of the Toon since retiring from the game and has never lost his love for the club and always vocal in the media. Ian Mearns is a British Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Gateshead since being elected in 2010. Having been watching Newcastle since the mid 60’s Ian still has season tickets in the Gallowgate End. The final ‘guardian’ is Lee Humble who is a chartered accountant with fifteen years experience in the banking and investment field. Again a huge Newcastle fan and a season ticket holder for over ten years.
There is no question this is the start and it’s actually quite emotional seeing the amount of money raised in such a short period of time and just shows what this football club means to us fans and those in the region. We hope this shows a strong statement and whatever each fan decides to pledge there is no shortening the value you’re worth to the Trust. What is important is to note that if the 1892 pledge fails to buy a stake in the club with new ownership, the Trust have agreed all of the money raised will be donated to charities based in the North East of England.
I will sign this article off with a quote from my favorite all time person in football as I believe it’s in harmony with what Newcastle fans are trying to achieve and it was a Newcastle fan himself who said this….. “What is a club in any case? Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes. It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city. It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.” – Sir Bobby Robson