We were given the impression after Mike Ashley’s TV interview that major things would change in the near future at St James’ Park.
I am one of many who didn’t believe a jot of what the Big Man said.
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Its not in great detail as almost all of this has been mentioned in different places on The Mag somewhere along the line, however, here is what needs to start happening:
Obviously, the main one is appoint a MANAGER who can attract players, has the man management skills and puts in place two players for every position.
A total review of the ACADEMY is required by the club (and it’s new manager) to plan ahead for the next 10 years. This obviously means major investment of between maybe £5m/£6m or more for starters on running the youth set-up (excluding facilities). This review will include everything from pre-season planning for all teams – including increasing the number of scouts.
FANS: Total review again from the club in respect to its relationship with its customers (sorry, fans). Subjects such as season tickets, safe standing, bringing back the noise, looking after regular away travellers with decent ticket allocations, better customer service form the appalling box office, fans liaison officers and basically keeping it fair and simple where ticket prices are concerned – such as stopping giving big companies and organisations cheaper tickets than those who pay up front every close season.
COMMUNICATION: Basically anything the club do (different) would be an improvement on the last 8 years, but by starting to communicate on a regular basis via club media would be a start, as well as inviting fans to SJP for briefings on the club’s new aims and direction.
COMMUNITY: This is at the heart of any club and many others do great projects and prior to Ashley owning the club, NUFC were already doing quite a bit, but this needs to be taken seriously as we all know the school ages are your future fans and so NUFC have to give positive examples. Let’s make SJP the community hub, but this is down to the club and how they see its role in the community, as well as liaising with the likes of the local council and the NUST amongst others.
STAFFING levels to go back to what its takes to run a Premier League club, with professional people who know what they are doing – a new PR department being top of the list, stopping the strategy of running on the bare minimum. The club and fans coming together to create new strategies and plans for the future of NUFC.
Lastly, a new PHILOSOPHY and approach is needed (such as dumping Wonga) and unless we have this then we can forget all the above.
The above are all basic necessities so NUFC do not fall behind even the average PL clubs and expand its potential.
Of course, there is much more that can be included but the only way this club is going to grow (incl its brand) is by getting and keeping the fans on board.