Fans Organisation MUST Be Recognised By The Club!
Newcastle Utd supporters' groups are hoping the latest blow to hit the club (Joey Barton being kicked out of the club) will bring together fans from different groups to create one voice. Toon supporter Steve Wraith is one of those hoping to establish a body which will act as an umbrella group for all the differing supporters’ clubs and organisations which have one thing in common – their passion for Newcastle United. Steve, along with a handful of other prominent supporters, has set up a group called NUFCfansunited.com to speak for the different groups. Steve Wraith: “We have been working on this idea for about 12 months now, but the situation with Barton has prompted us to act now. “Following the game against Arsenal, we want to hold an open meeting in which representatives from any of the fans groups out there can come along and talk about what they would like to see from the club and the board. “It could just be a get-together where we chew the fat, or it could be the start of something where the club starts to communicate with the fans and we open up a dialogue with them. “We won’t know until we try. "We will compile a list of all the points the different fans groups make and send them off to the board. “We’d love it if we were to be invited along to sit down with Derek Llambias and discuss the concerns everyone has about where the club is heading. “But we know that’s unlikely. What could come from this is that if the club eventually changes hands we will have a body set up which could hopefully act as a point of contact between the fans and a new owner which would hopefully be more open to dialogue. “We want people to leave their egos when they come to this meeting. “The name of the group says what we are trying to achieve. “We want all the differing supporters groups to be united. “There have been protests and marches on the ground in the past and they grab headlines but don’t achieve anything. “We’re hoping for something a bit more constructive.” NU-MAD COMMENT: We tried this back in the 1960's and the Supporters Club in the Haymarket was as close as we ever got to a successful NUFC fans body. It worked because it was recognised by the club ... and you can forget any idea that Mike Ashley will listen to what we have to say while he is owner of Newcastle United. He won't even listen to the manager, for god's sake, so what chance have we got? I have been involved with more protests and demonstrations than I care to remember, but they never achieve anything. The only chairman who ever held court with us was George Forges in the early 1990's just before John Hall took over. I was involved with the "Black & White" fanzine, he took up our offer of a meeting and we put forward several suggestions ... many of which Forbes acted on. But Forbes was a GENUINE life-long Newcastle Utd supporter who wanted the best for the club, but didn't have the financial backing that Hall or Ashley has. The problem with getting the supporters "United" is that we could rarely find "common ground". Look at the Barton situation today. Many believe Barton was right to say what he said, but judging by our message board, just as many Toon fans think he was an idiot for going about it the way he did. There is rarely - if EVER - a topic everyone agrees on. And until the club recognises the supporters club - what is the point - because it won't get us anywhere!
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