Newcastle United fans, led by their supporters’ trust, have launched a bid to buy part of the north east club.
Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) is asking supporters to pledge small amounts of money for a fund that aims to buy part of the club when it is sold by the current owner, Mike Ashley.
The 1892 Pledge – named after the year Newcastle United was formed – has been three years in the planning and has already attracted support from the worlds of football, politics and the media.
Through the 1892 Pledge, NUST aims to build a pot of money that can either give supporters a small share of the club if it is sold while in the Premier League or see fans ready to step in to help save the club in the event of relegation and the financial consequences that could see a change of ownership.
Greg Tomlinson, chair of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust said: “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.”
Fans are being asked to pay in what they can, when they can to fund the 1892 Pledge.
Supporters are encouraged to set up direct debit payments through a dedicated website – www.1892pledge.co.uk – which will display the total amount raised by fans on a daily basis.
Creator of the 1892 pledge idea, and True Faith fanzine editor, Alex Hurst said: “It is important to stress we are not asking fans to part with their life savings or cash in their pension pots – this is not what Pledge 1892 is about.
“Instead, it’s about making small, regular donations of a few pounds a month which will build up a fund over time.
“We believe there is nothing that fans of this club can’t achieve when we are truly united and this is a chance for us to prove it.”
The Trust has appointed four ‘Guardians’ to safeguard the money raised.
The Guardians of the fund are:
- Warren Barton, former NUFC and England defender
- Ian Mearns, MP for Gateshead
- George Caulkin, north east football reporter for The Athletic
- Lee Humble, chartered accountant.
In return for the fans’ financial backing, NUST would like new owners to allow the Trust to work within the club, either through an executive board position or another role which can allow the Trust, its members and the supporters of Newcastle United to influence the club and its future direction.
Alex said: “There is a huge and ever-growing disconnect between the people who run Newcastle United and the people who support the club.
“This situation is unhealthy and unsustainable. We believe the 1892 Pledge is the first step towards writing a better future for Newcastle United.”
- Find out more – visit the NUST website…