The next meeting of the NUFC Fans Forum has been shifted back to March, with perhaps more focus on this meeting than any previous one.
Last February the club used the Fans Forum to release details of the financial figures for the 2012/13 season and it is anticipated that the same will happen at this next NUFC Fans Forum.
It is expected that the financial figures for 2013/14 will show a profit of around £50m, or even a total in excess of that, thanks in the main to the extra TV riches and Newcastle not buying any players last season, plus the sale of Yohan Cabaye. The interesting part will be how Mike Ashley presents the figures and how much he has taken out of the club against his ‘loan’, if indeed he has banked anything yet.
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Derek Llambias has already stated that he is getting rid of the official Rangers Fan Board for daring to release the minutes of the recent meeting of club officials and supporters, with Llambias and Mike Ashley’s other man Barry Leach coming out of it particularly badly.
Derek Llambias hasn’t claimed there was any false reporting of the meeting but is still adamant he will be getting rid of the fan representatives, a move which is almost a carbon copy of when Mike Ashley banned NUST (Newcastle United Supporters Trust) from the NUFC Fans Forum for also daring to publish a personal account of what had been said between Newcastle United club officials and supporters. Once again, the club didn’t claim that anything NUST reported from the meeting hadn’t actually been said.
When publishing the minutes of the last NUFC Fans Forum which took place in October, Newcastle United stated that the next meeting would take place in February after the January transfer window.
From the October meeting’s minutes:
‘Next meeting date: February (post-January window)’
However, this was then changed to March, with the next meeting on the Monday after the Saturday match against Aston Villa. The club seemingly desperate to announce the 2013/14 vast profits on the back of a much needed match victory.
Newcastle United have already unilaterally decided that they would cut the number of Fans Forum meetings from four to three, despite supporters on the forum wanting to stick to the four meetings per year format.
Again from the October meeting minutes:
‘The club’s view was that three meetings was a better fit in relation to the start of the season, end of the January window and end of the season but that the club would remain open to additional meetings as required and would review it at the end of the season.’
I for one don’t envy the supporters who have agreed to be part of the NUFC Fans Forum.
Many Newcastle fans will be looking to those on the forum to take a lead from their equivalent at Rangers and hold the club to account, rather than allowing Mike Ashley and his minions to make fools out of them as has been the case so far.