Uk News Backed by Shearer, how the Supporters Trust's bid for Newcastle part-ownership works United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Former Newcastle captain Alan Shearer declared ‘I’m in’ after the 1892 Pledge launched on Thursday
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) have launched an initiative that could secure future part-ownership of the club if a takeover is completed.The 1892 Pledge is described as “the most ambitious fan-led project in the history of English football” by the NUST, and was backed by club legend Alan Shearer on Thursday, with the former England captain declaring “I’m in” upon the scheme’s launch.Taking inspiration from Scottish side Hearts’ fan-ownership model, the aim is to encourage supporters to donate a one-off or monthly amount, with a view to one day buying shares when Mike Ashley – owner since 2007 – eventually sells the north-east club.i's fantasy football tips newsletter: get aheadEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription.Ashley accepted a £300m bid by a Saudi-backed consortium led by financier Amanda Staveley last year, but the takeover collapsed in July after the group walked away from a deal. Read More Defiant Steve Bruce won’t quit but Newcastle’s sleepwalk towards bottom three has been foretold for months It is believed Ashley is still actively looking to sell, and NUST want to have their say in the future running of the club – be it in the Premier League or further down the football pyramid.“As Newcastle fans we’ve been devoid and starved of ambition for so long under Mike Ashley, and it feels strange to be positive and excited about something to do with the club,” NUST board member Charlotte Robson tells i.“This is an ambitious scheme, but why not, at least you can say you’ve tried. When Ashley does sell the club, we want to have a seat at the table and engage with the new owners.“Then if we drop down the leagues, if we manage to raise a significant chunk of money like we’re hoping we do, we become a lot more valuable as a group to any potential new owner. We’re trying to be proactive, not reactive.”Gaining a stake is not guaranteed with any prospective new owners, but NUST are hopeful of reaching an agreement, and have said money will go to charities in the north east if their ambition to buy shares in the club fall through.Robson adds: “I think it would say a lot about a new owner if they ignored this – thousands of fans. We’re on over a thousand pledges and we’ve only been going for hours.“We will cross that bridge when we come to it, I fully expect a new owner to engage with us in some way. It would be to their benefit. Let us work together and make this potentially brilliant club, actually great.” Well done. I’m in ????????♂️ https://t.co/8bfGg3F6TN— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) April 8, 2021 ‘This club is our club’The 1892pledge.co.uk website states: “The Trust exists to have all Newcastle United supporters involved in the ownership of this great club.“We have launched the 1892 Pledge Scheme as the best way to raise the funds so that through the Trust the fans can have a stake in the Club. We believe that through fan ownership in the Club we will be able to secure the future of NUFC for all time.“We want the club to operate with integrity and transparency and have a clear strategy for success on and off the pitch.”Among the FAQs on the 1892 Pledge website, the NUST acknowledges it is “difficult” to know what total it is looking to raise, but stresses it is a “long-term scheme”.“At the time of writing it is believed 1 per cent of the club will be worth £3 million,” the website says. “This is a long-term scheme for supporters to get behind and it will not fail or succeed in a short space of time.
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.”Warren Barton, the former Newcastle defender, is one “guardian” of the pledge scheme, along with MP for Gateshead Ian Mearns, The Athletic reporter George Caulkin, and chartered accountant Lee Humble. The quartet will have control over all funds raised.
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. pic.twitter.com/tkv40v5gFp— Greg Tomlinson NUST (@NUSTChair) April 8, 2021
‘Not a knee-jerk reaction to performances’The Newcastle fanbase have long been disgruntled with Ashley’s ownership, while frustrations are also growing with the club’s on-pitch performances under manager Steve Bruce.Newcastle are currently 17th in the Premier League table, three points above the relegation zone with a game in hand over 18th-placed Fulham.The 1892 Pledge has not surfaced due to recent bad results, however, but has been in the making since 2018. Alex Hurst was previously the Chair of NUST, but remains a board member having stepped down from that role to dedicate his time to this initiative.The NUST then ran focus groups with supporters earlier this year, ensuring they kept the plans under wraps, before launching on Thursday.“Last night the board WhatsApp group was like ‘Ah, here we go,’ very nervous, but it has been a positive day and I’m proud of what we’ve done,” Robson adds.“It has been something we’ve looked at for years and years. It’s not a knee-jerk reaction, we’ve had Mike Ashley as an owner for 14 years, and that’s rumbled on – the dissatisfaction has gained traction over time, but this is years of work.”Last month, BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand suggested on his YouTube channel that Newcastle fans should “round your money up and take over the club” from Ashley, and Robson stressed the timing of the 1892 Pledge is merely coincidental, and that it is not looking to take over the club.“It’s different,” Robson adds. “This is a long-term scheme for a stake. We’re not totally deluded here. We don’t think we’ll raise £350m in a year, but if we can raise enough as a Trust to get our feet under the table and have fan influence at club level, then job done really.“Newcastle is valued at £300-350m depending on where you look. Why is it that valuable? We’re hovering above the relegation zone and don’t have a particularly prestigious squad of players that could attract high price-tags, but the reason is the fans. We are what you are buying. You’re buying this colossal fan base, incredibly passionate people who are loyal, mad, fun, amazing.“For fans to not have any sort of dialogue with their club, especially a club like Newcastle which is in the centre of town and middle of the community, and its doors are shut and doesn’t engage, I just think that’s an enormous waste of really important resources.“There’s just no meaningful engagement with fans on a club level, and that seems to me really short-sighted. It’s missing a trick. Money talks, so we’re going to try and raise some money and get in that way.”
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