Mike Ashley’s running of Newcastle United is once again shown up, this time through the contempt displayed towards the NUFC Fans Forum.

For those who aren’t aware, the Fans Forum is made up of a group of fans who meet club officials (including Managing Director Lee Charnley) three times a year, it used to be four until Newcastle United decided having four meetings was unnecessary.

Prospective Fans Forum members have to put themselves forward and it is the club who actually choose which supporters are allowed on, not a case of supporters voting for their representatives as happens at other clubs.

Yet despite Mike Ashley’s minions choosing the make-up of the Fans Forum, the contempt they have treat them with is unbelievable.

In response to the crisis at St James’ Park and the spectre of relegation, the Fans Forum collectively wrote to the club on 21 April 2015 asking for an urgent meeting to discuss the problems at Newcastle United and the challenges facing the club.

Amazingly, Lee Charnley quickly sprung into action and took time off from searching the World for our next manager, replying only five days later to agree that this early meeting was essential and that the planned end of season meeting would be brought forward to enable a meeting with the Fans Forum members to happen as soon as possible – adding that the club would come to it with an ‘open and transparent’ approach.

Despite this promise to the Fans Forum (and by association, the Newcastle supporter fanbase as a whole) no such meeting has taken place.

However, it gets worse, because Taylor Payne who is the ‘Members Representative’ on the Fans Forum has confirmed that not only has no meeting taken place, but to compound matters the club hasn’t had the courtesy to even reply to Forum members’ requests for information as to when the meeting will be.

Taylor saying that he has sent countless emails to the club but with no reply. This confirms what I have been told by other Fans Forum members who don’t want to have their names made public.

Lee Charnley’s letter of the 26 April (38 days ago) agreeing to an urgent meeting BEFORE the end of the season is reproduced below, whilst firstly this is the message that Taylor (one half of the renowned @TaylorandBesty Twitter account) sent earlier today in reply to a fan who was asking what was happening with the promised Fans Forum meeting:

“Requested a meeting after Leicester, club agreed. We’ve heard nothing since. Sent countless emails. No idea why.”

Lee Charnley letter to NUFC Fans Forum members (Made Public 26 April 2015)

“In order to discuss the issues you raise, I intend to bring forward the date of our next Fans Forum meeting which was originally scheduled for the end of the season.

“I am sure Forum members past and present will agree that the Club has been open and transparent during all interactions, including meetings and correspondence, and this next meeting will be no different.

“In my opinion, the introduction of the Forum has been productive for all the parties involved and, as we move forward, the Forum will continue to be one of our preferred forms of fan communication and engagement.

“With five games now remaining of the season – including three at St. James’ Park, I would ask you, indeed all supporters, to get fully behind John Carver and the players as they look to finish the season as strongly as possible.

“When St. James’ Park is loud and supportive of the team on the pitch, it does make a huge difference.”

“We accept mistakes have been made and understand you raise these issues because you want the best for your football club.

“Please be assured we want the same – we want to give you a football club you can be proud of and a team you feel passionate to support.”


  • Paul Patterson

    Anybody surprised?

  • A lex

    I don’t know what the Constitution says,; but whose responsibility is it to call meetings? Can the Fans side not set and call a meeting, thus putting Charnley et al in default if they don’t respond / turn up? It won’t gain anything, but will be very negative for them given the FA desire to engage with fans by this method.

  • ash1001

    As a member of the Fans Forum I fully endorse what Taylor has said, I have been on the Fans Forum for 2 years and I remember clearly after one of our meetings last year one of our members was a whisper away from ‘decking’ Lee Charnley because of his attitude.

    The year in my opinion although we have made constant approaches to the Club via Lee Marshall, as we have no direct access to Lee Charnley or Mike Ashley we sent E Mails and get no response.

    Likewise the fans have direct access to us as everything has to go through Lee Marshall.

    Trying to change anything is just about an impossibility. the club are paying lip service to UEFA and that’s about it.

  • Wallsendstu

    Is this not a requirement of the premier league? If it is then clubs should be told to hold a required number of meetings otherwise they should lose payment of tv money etc for each meeting they miss. The way this club is run stinks but what can you expect from Penfold who couldn’t lie straight in bed and who has been exposed as the useless fool he is, a barrow boy who even gives a bad name to the Delboys of this world, an old fool who spends his time on a constant Saga holiday around europe and a head case who wants to go around fighting everyone as a coach. If it was a soap opera it would n’t have lasted as long as El Dorado (that great BBC classic) yet I suppose that even had those who would be willing to sit there and watch the dross served up to them without a complaint and believe that the next episode would be better because the director general said so.

  • andewalsh

    Bums on fire Charnley reverts to doing his master’s bidding. How anybody can get into bed with Ashley & co beggars belief. They are using those meetings to gain credibility and anyone associated with them should have called for no confidence rather than some cry baby ultimatum that looks ridiculous now.
    The FA are not willing to listen but their hypocrisy is there for all to see in the wake of FIFA collapse. The only thing that will change them is to remain vigilant in the pressure that ashleyout.com has brought to bare.
    I am convinced Murdoch was not happy at what has been going on with his product and it is likely to have prompted the barrow boy to come out with his nervous platitudes. I’m sure the Premier League can be made to see there is no contest after Christmas because of the policy at United.

  • Wingpaddock

    ash1001. your post is really of no great surprise. The club probably have the lip on because you all had the audacity to be in contact with one another outside the Forum and then surprised them with the collective letter. Obviously their pre planning of getting Marshall as the conduit for all emails to FF members did not really work out in this case. I still laugh at Marshalls suggesting that emails to FF members were best routed through him as they did not want FF members to be deluged with emails from fans – they said they had a duty of care – a complete load of b****cks. I think someone putting themselves forward to the FF would expect emails from fans.
    FF should take another initiative with an open letter highlighting their treatment -which to me is identical as to how the club think of any Toons fans – they do not give a stuff.

  • Wingpaddock

    Wallsendstu – no it’s a UEFA directive to have liason with the fans.

  • partworntyres

    can someone please tell me what mclaren has done to make him a contender?
    i’ve been away for five minutes and may have missed it.

  • Wallsendstu

    Cheers, no problem on that score then as we will never take part in their competitions, fatman and Penfold come up smelling of roses again.

  • A lex

    By and large, he’s been a failure and can’t cut it. Just been sacked and currently out of work. Will come cheap. No club of decent standing will want him.
    McLaren knows all this himself, so he’ll just fancy a reasonably well paid job where, if he toes the line, he’ll be supported by his boss.
    That’s why he’s a contender. Sounds like when Pardew got the job, doesn’t it?

  • Wallsendstu

    Penfold is so out of his depth he has to rely on the super scout/director of football/airmiles champion who wants his mate in place so that he can remain king of the castle with no one asking what he does and is willing to put up with any crap that is put before him. McClaren scores on all fronts.

  • Stemcoman

    I don’t think LC or “The Board” can handle the job, interviewing someone who knows about football is beyond them. I also think they really are out of their depth and desperately need a MD with footballing knowledge and not a pen pusher.
    SM, if appointed more dull football. I think we the whole coaching staff ought to be looked at and get rid of the deadwood.

  • partworntyres

    A lex
    sadly i suspect you are spot on!

  • Mal44

    Stemcoman  You’re right about the ability of ‘the board’. Charnley is clearly way out of his depth and how come a ‘Chief Scout’ has so much power – unheard of at any other major club. We have suffered in the past because of Ashley appointing his mates (Llambias, Wise, Kinnear etc.) and now we seem to be going to appoint someone who is Carr’s mate. I can’t understand how a successful businessman as Ashley can’t see that he needs top people to run a major PL club. You’re also right about the coaching staff; they’re clearly not up to it. We’re the worst coached team in the PL.

  • Chemical Dave

    Sounds like the hand picked representatives are shocked by the treatment ? Hey, if you dance with the devil and all that….
    Meanwhile, back on planet earth, fans are asking why these reps actually continue to maintain the forum In the first place?

  • A lex

    But he’s NOT inept. He’s doing a fantastic job and just what Ashley wants.
    I get tired of reading about Ashley being such a good businessman and people surprised at the ‘mess’ he’s making of running NUFC.
    He is running it exactly as he wants with optimum performance. The fact that fans want a different direction goes against the direction that Ashley wants.
    Many need to get it in their heads that this is a deliberate situation and Charnley, Carver and the rest are doing a spot on job for Ashley.

  • BrianKD

    Paul Patterson nope, not a bit. if plan A doesn’t work, revert to plan A. the fans actually don’t figure in the boards plans

  • prestondave

    A lex absolutely spot on A lex and shows that his empty words at West Ham game were just a sham that many of us can see but unfortunately the majority cant. Even Brian Standen has finally seen sense lol. Said in jest Brian. Welcome aboard though….

  • Jarmin Geordie

    partworntyres You could of been away a few years and still not understand why McClaren is a contender, his records that “good”

  • stepaylor

    Charnley arrogance and lack of anything really is incredible. How is this guy possibly running the club. 

    Like everyone else is saying, time running out for me with this joke of a regime running what used to be our club.