Newcastle United fans today launched a bid to buy a stake in the club – when it’s eventually sold by Mike Ashley.
The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) are leading a new campaign, named 1892 Pledge, to raise money to give fans a small share in the club.
NUST chair Greg Tomlinson 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’s 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.”
Owner Ashley put the club on the market in October 2017 – and agreed a £300million sale to a consortium led by Amanda Staveley last year. Ashley is trying to resurrect that sale through legal action after the Premier League failed to make a timely decision on its approval.
NUST board member Alex Hurst said: “The 1892 Pledge could mean we, as fans, can invest in our club, that could be in the form of a percentage stake in NUFC if it’s sold whilst in the Premier League, or, if things take a turn for the worse and the club’s fortunes sink further, we would be there standing ready to provide investment and potentially be part of a buying consortium.
“Supporters must have a say in what happens to NUFC, and we believe this campaign will give us a real voice in the running of the club – not just now but for years and decades into the future.”
Fans can set up direct debit payments through a dedicated 1892 Pledge website.
Hurst said: “It’s important to stress we’re 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. It’s also about bringing NUFC supporters together in a common goal, not just fans in the North East and the UK, but all over the world.
“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.”
NUST, which has 14,000 members, wants to work with new owners in return for its support and financial backing.
“There is a huge and ever-growing disconnect between the people who run Newcastle United and the people who support the club,” said Hurst.
“This situation is unhealthy and unsustainable. We believe the 1892 Pledge is the first step towards writing a better future for Newcastle United.
“This is an ambitious project designed to begin the hard work of protecting the club for the next generation of Newcastle United fans.”