The much awaited NUFC Fans Forum meeting took place on Monday night, with Lee Charnley and Bobby Moncur in attendance as usual.

A relative surprise was to see Steve McClaren turning up as well, the new United Head Coach showing a willingness to engage with supporters as he did at Derby County with regular question and answer sessions.

One glaring omission, if no surprise, was Mike Ashley.

The owner choosing not to turn up, despite requests from the Fans Forum members that they’d like him to attend.

Last night’s meeting took place to a backdrop of not a single signing as yet this summer.

It was also two or three months late as far as the Fans Forum members were concerned.

With Lee Charnley having agreed to organise an emergency meeting before the end of last season in response to the unanimous request of the supporters sitting on the forum, only to then ignore repeated inquiries from them as to why no such meeting then took place.

The club’s minutes of the meeting will be made public in the coming days but without going into the actual detail, the feedback from a few of the Fans Forum members suggests the following:

Obvious disappointment (but no surprise) that Mike Ashley had chosen not to be there, fans appreciated the fact that Steve McClaren had made the effort and that he conducted himself well.

nufc fans forum

However, I get the impression that apart from McClaren’s contribution, it was just more of the same from Charnley and co. The club overwhelmingly dictating the substance and pace of the meeting,  with Newcastle United continuing to be run the Mike Ashley way and the bigger questions unable to be answered because the only person who could do so, wasn’t in the room.

One of the supporters in attendance was Taylor Payne and he used his Twitter account to give a bit of an overview of proceedings, without compromising things before the minutes are agreed:

‘I do like McClaren. I like how he engages with people, I like his attitude and his honesty and his positivity. Him being there was a big plus.

McClaren impressed me by asking US (the supporters) questions, made me feel like he is actually interested in fans. Nobody at the club has done that before.

However, I do feel that it was very clever by the club to have him there as it kept the focus very much on the now and the future.

Structure of the meeting was different tonight, so unfortunately I only got to ask 3 of the 10 questions I had. Other people covered some.

I was a bit disappointed with that, meeting moved on quickly and it felt like there wasn’t enough time to go into detail very often.’

  • Michael Maximus Moose

    Big Mike will never attend a meeting, End of Story
    Did anybody ask where the £29m in the January statement went to ?
    Thought not
    Waste of Time

  • Conman

    Fcb was never going to turn up and discuss anything financial with the group.
    He holds us as hostages to our own club and we will fall in line with what he wants. We have no say in it whatsoever.
    Let’s hope the group asked some decent , probing questions on our behalf.

  • toon tony

    1st question on the agenda should have been. .WHAT THE FCUK IS GOING ON.

  • Andgeo

    We only sign players when the fat slob wants us to. Clearly there is no real effort being made to sign players. If the fat leach wanted to buy Austin, wijnaldum, matip, thauvin etc we would have already signed them. None of them would break the clubs wage structure and all of them are available at an affordable price.
    The lack of activity suggests that the ‘football board’ have been given a budget, and the money isn’t enough to compete with other clubs and to do the rebuilding desperately needed.
    We could save everyone a lot of time by being more transparent on this. If there is only £20m to spend let’s just get it out in the open now.
    If that is the case it is not enough, and Ashley will have used up his last chance!!

  • NUFC9

    Andgeo  If you announce you have £20 to spend, guess what QPR’s asking price for Austin is.

    I agree though that all the talk of signing the above players seems to just be huffing and puffing without real serious intent.  Seems the club is leaking half baked stories to Sky and the Mirror to keep their “preferred media partners” sweet and give us the impression they’re serious about signing quality players.

  • NUFC9

    Andgeo  P.S.  I meant £20 million but £20 is actually probably closer to the truth ;-)

  • Shipcote Willy

    It’s a talking shop when it’s action that’s needed. It sounds as though McClaren will be the perfect front man for them with his PR skills and a better lightning conductor for anti Ashley sentiment while things carry on as they always have.

  • LeazesEnder

    I imagine the meetings to be something like the panel game QI….. 

    ….. ‘Right can anyone tell what the  £29 million pounds in extra operating costs was for?’

    …. ‘Youre supposed to tell us Mr Charnley!

    LC….Oh Right….. next question’… What is big eats grass and you strap it to the front of a cart?’

    … ‘Is it a donkey’

                                          FLASHING LIGHTS……. ‘DONKEY…DONKEY….DONKEY’ 

    LC….Ha you fell into our little trap…. it’s Mike Williamson….

    …..’Are you trying to tell us its going to be more of the same frugal Calvinistic spending without ambition’ 

    LC… ‘Can you see the answers on my card…… 

    Bob Moncur…. ‘Would anybody like a hobnob with their coffee’

    LC….’don’t put that in the minutes Wendy’….. right next….. ‘Why did I not get the sack on  the last day of the season?…. come on anybody….. no….  times up’…. ah its the ‘Nobody knows bonus’….

                                           FLASHING LIGHTS……. ‘DONKEY…DONKEY….DONKEY’ 

    LC…  Somebody fix that….. right the final scores…….. last place with a totally expected score of minus fifty…. the supporters….. 

    …..second with a score of zero…. Bob
    …..and the winner…. with a score of 29 million…… meeeeeee

    See you all next time…. sometime at my discretion….. probably

    Voice from the back…’ hang on we are supposed to ask the questions!’…..

  • toonterrier

    Surely someone who attended the forum could tell one of his mates what went on and then he could post it on this site. Strange that nothing has leaked out and we have to wait for the minutes to be released. Don’t expect to be overjoyed with what went on and what was discussed unless it takes time to write the names of all the players we have been linked with.

  • kuromori

    Michael Maximus Moose Hang on a sec. We don’t know if the question was asked or not. Give the people involved a chance to get their version out.

  • Andgeo

    Basically ashley isn’t giving them the money to spend.

  • Duke Fame

    Michael Maximus Moose I thought it was mainly on an increase in wages and player amortisation. 

    I really don’t see much point in having a meeting about accounts released in January which refer to activity from 2013-14. The piece says the “focus was very much on the now and the future”, that’s surely the best way to conduct these meetings rather than dwelling on the past, especially when very few people have the required skills to discuss finances in an intelligent and mature manner.

  • Andgeo

    So basically we are no further forward. What a total waste of time. ashley out!!

  • Andgeo

    Ashley’s pocket!