Newcastle United Supporters Trust unveil plans to buy stake in club

08 April 2021 01:30

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) have unveiled a fundraising campaign designed to buy a stake in the club on behalf of fans from across the world.

It's not hard to find a Newcastle fan who has been less than impressed with the club's business under current owner Mike Ashley, whose penchant for penny pinching and poor decisions has driven supporters to numerous protests in recent years.

Protests against Ashley's ownership are nothing new | Stu Forster/Getty Images

A common criticism towards Ashley is that he does not listen to supporters and treats the club too much like a business. So to try and fix that, NUST have put together the 1892 Pledge and are encouraging fans to donate with the end goal of buying a stake in the club.

It's noted that the plan is not to buy in to Ashley's ownership, which they expect to be over before they reach the minimum required amount of £3m in donations, but instead to buy a stake alongside any new owner to ensure they do not find themselves in this kind of mess again.

NUST hope to give fans a firm voice in the decision-making of the club and right some of the wrongs created by the Ashley regime.

"We think football fans - and Newcastle fans - don't realise how much power they have and how much influence they have," former Trust chairman and initiative leader Alex Hurst told the Newcastle Chronicle.

"We think that when the club is sold the fanbase needs to start representing itself in terms of how the club is run. The only way to guarantee that is to own some part of the club so what we're trying to do is to set the fanbase up to genuinely represent itself at ownership level to make sure the club is run on behalf of its supporters rather than what we have at the minute.

"We're asking the fans to pledge what they can - ideally on a monthly basis but one-off pledges are absolutely fine, people can dip in and out but the best thing for us is monthly donations. Whether it's a £1, a five, a tenner, £40, we don't want people to give us anything they'd miss.

"This is supposed to be an affordable, long-term project. That's the key for us: it's long-term. It's not going to be a month, or six months or a week, it's going to be as long as it takes. If Ashley's here for another five years, we'll do it for that long.

"What we want is for fans to pay into the Trust to give the Trust a chance of buying a share in the club when it gets sold or stepping in to save it should it fall through the leagues."

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Source: 90min