On Saturday I wrote about the Newcastle United Fans Forum (see below).

In it, I mentioned how it was an absolute disgrace how those supporters who volunteered to give up their time and energy, had been treated by the club in all of the years it had been in place.

Mike Ashley and his people manipulating the whole process for their own ends, using it as a PR weapon/exercise, rather than approaching it in good faith.

No transparency either, the whole thing done behind closed doors and the club controlling what goes in the minutes, whilst other clubs provide video footage so everybody can see/hear everything that is said.

Last season they really took the mick, the club refusing to allow the Newcastle United Fans Forum to meet, so they could avoid questions about the disgraceful running of the club under Mike Ashley, in particular, the treatment of Rafa Benitez.

They waited until Premier League safety was achieved and allowed finally a meeting to take place in late April 2018.

At that meeting the club ‘apologised” for not having meetings and accepted it was unacceptable to keep delaying having them. They agreed to a schedule of meetings, with Tuesday 28 August 2018 the first of three dates.

On Saturday I reported how fans forum members had contacted the club and asked for confirmation that the meeting was going ahead, they were all ignored.

I questioned: ‘Newcastle United Fans Forum – Mike Ashley regime running scared and set to cancel again?’

Monday morning has finally seen confirmation that the meeting of the Newcastle United Fans Forum…has been cancelled.

Only 24 hours before the meeting was due to take place, Lee Charnley said to be ‘unavailable’.

If you believe that, then I expect you also think Rafa Benitez was given ‘every penny’ to spend these past two seasons.

What an absolute disgrace that Mike Ashley and his minions are willing to treat people in this way.

Scared to meet their own supporters, even in an environment that is controlled by them, what an absolute joke.

This is the club’s commitment to the Newcastle United Fans Forum for future meetings, from the minutes of that 25 April 2018 meeting:

The club apologised for delays in the regularity of Fans Forum meetings.

Phil Lee (PL) was concerned that the club could be seen as not being committed to the Fans Forum process.

The club accepted that view but hoped that supporters who had been involved with the process since 2013 would acknowledge how committed the club has been to communicating openly as part of the Forum.

Steve Hastie (SH) stated that Arsenal run Fans Forums on matchdays and enquired as to whether this would be possible.

The club advised that several members of the management team would be operational on matchdays and that this would negatively impact the time and attention that could be given to meetings.

Peter Fanning (PF) suggested committing to dates for future meetings would send out a positive message about the club’s commitment to the Fans Forum.

The club agreed and has proposed the following dates for future Fans Forums: Tuesday 28th August 2018; Tuesday 12th February 2019; Tuesday 21st May 2019.

The Mag – 25 August 2018:

The Newcastle United Fans Forum will meet Lee Charnley and other club officials on Tuesday (28 August 2018).

Many supporters looking forward to this meeting at St James Park, when the Newcastle fans in attendance will be able to ask some searching questions about the running of the club.

Surely an ideal situation for both sides.

The fans able to ask questions directly of Lee Charnley (the only member of the Newcastle United board and the club’s only named executive) and other staff.

Whilst from the club’s/Mike Ashley’s side, a perfect opportunity to deliver in a controlled safe environment, the truth (as they see it) on the various issues that  supporters are concerned about.

However…

Only three days to go before that Newcastle United Fans Forum and it is very much looking like it might not go ahead.

Sadly, for those fans who have made the time and effort to take part in the Fans Forum, they have been treated with utter contempt by the club. The Mike Ashley regime failing totally to approach these meetings in good faith.

Members of the Newcastle United Fans Forum have responded to questions from other supporters on social media, who have asked if the meeting is indeed happening on Tuesday and can they ask various questions on their behalf. However, the Fans Forum members have responded, saying that they have no idea whether the meeting will take place, as the club hasn’t even had the courtesy to reply to forum members who have asked if it is actually going to happen as scheduled by them.

When the minutes of the last meeting on 25 April 2018 were released, the club guaranteed that the next meeting would take place on 28 August 2018, then another on 12 February 2019 and following that 21 May 2019.

These set dates were in response to the club continually messing the Fans Forum members about, regularly delaying meetings and indeed there had been a disgraceful 10 month gap between the previous one (29 June 2017) and that most recent meeting (25 April 2018). The club refusing requests to meet all season as Mike Ashley had undermined Rafa Benitez, failing to keep promises on transfer funds and leading to a season long relegation battle. Only once safety was assured did that April meeting take place.

This is the club’s commitment to the Newcastle United Fans Forum for future meetings, from the minutes of that 25 April 2018 meeting:

The club apologised for delays in the regularity of Fans Forum meetings.

Phil Lee (PL) was concerned that the club could be seen as not being committed to the Fans Forum process.

The club accepted that view but hoped that supporters who had been involved with the process since 2013 would acknowledge how committed the club has been to communicating openly as part of the Forum.

Steve Hastie (SH) stated that Arsenal run Fans Forums on matchdays and enquired as to whether this would be possible.

The club advised that several members of the management team would be operational on matchdays and that this would negatively impact the time and attention that could be given to meetings.

Peter Fanning (PF) suggested committing to dates for future meetings would send out a positive message about the club’s commitment to the Fans Forum.

The club agreed and has proposed the following dates for future Fans Forums: Tuesday 28th August 2018; Tuesday 12th February 2019; Tuesday 21st May 2019.

The Newcastle United Fans Forum is a total joke compared to how other clubs present theirs, elsewhere they make footage of the meetings available so all supporters can see and hear what is said from both sides. Not Newcastle, the wider fanbase only gets to read the carefully controlled minutes released by the club. Not saying that what is included in the minutes are lies – but rather we don’t get to see/read what isn’t included in the minutes that are prepared/controlled by NUFC.

As one previous example of the contempt shown by the club to the Newcastle United Fans Forum, I will take you back to one of the many previous relegation battles under Mike Ashley, the 2014/15 season when Newcastle only reached safety on the final day of the season (Jonas Gutierrez scoring in that 2-0 win over West Ham).

With relegation threatening and the fans very unhappy with what was happening at the club, the Fans Forum members sent a collective letter on 21 April 2015 asking for an urgent meeting with Lee Charnley and the other club officials (NUFC having always repeatedly refused all previous requests for Mike Ashley himself to attend at least on Fans Forum to address supporter concerns).

Charnley actually replied only five days later (see below) and actually agreed to meet the fans ASAP, before the scheduled end of season Newcastle United Fans Forum meeting.

However…despite forum members repeatedly reminding the club/Lee Charnley of this commitment to an urgent meeting, their emails were ignored and no such meeting took place.

It was actually 6 July 2015 when the next Forum meeting took place, fully 71 days after Lee Charnley had agreed to an urgent meeting before the end of the season (that West Ham match was 24 May 2015).

Lee Charnley letter to NUFC Fans Forum members – 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.”



  • TheFatController

    I love that Ashley rclearly eads this site.

    He sees his apologists say things like
    – there’s still time to buy players (when window still open and no money has been spent)
    – they haven’t cancelled the fans’ forum yet ( this was just said on Saturday)

    Then he laughs at his own apologists as he knows he will be the useless owner that they pretend he isn’t for some bizarre, unfathomable reason.

    Not since the apologists claimed there’d be a £30m net spend this summer have I chuckled thinking back to apologists claiming this forum ‘wasn’t cancelled yet’ only to see, and who could have predicted this(?) it’s now been officially cancelled.

    Like the battered housewife who says ‘but he’s ever so good with the kids’, denial to allow you to pretend it’s not really that bad is a major human failing.

    • Wezza

      Just block the trolls mate it’s a far nicer experience.

      • Kenny

        Mugpie is his pet troll

        • TheFatController

          If only, I’d have him put down – after having him neutered.

    • MrShack66

      Even Clarko admitted he couldn’t understand why Ashley hadn’t spent £60 million a few weeks back.

  • Kenny

    the Fat Rat is waiting to recruit, Monk Mugpie, Benny Jones & Swiss Toni English, all his bend over boys

  • Big Al 1967

    And we are surprised because???

  • Wezza

    Pure cowardice. We have the rats cornered.
    They obviously couldn’t come up with a PR excuse regarding the 123M tv money so decide to cancel when they’re asked about it.

    • Big Al 1967

      And I bet it will not get a single mention on Sky, Bt or Richard Keys lot at Bein

  • Kenny

    Time for the those running the Premier league & the FA to do something about the Fat Rat Ashley.

    • phildene

      I’ve actually emailed both of those parties regarding the state of the place and so far had an automated acknowledgement, so will see what happens, if anything

      • Cockneytrev

        Perhaps if they received 52000 emails , they might finally move their useles rses…

        • Geordiegiants

          Another string to the bow.

  • Toontaff

    Penfold’s unavailable, but we have Monkseaton, Ben Jones and Dennis Wise to take reasonable questions from the floor!

    • Kenny

      Swiss Toni English is a bit dodgy as well

  • JohnCornwell’sHair

    Cowardice, plain and simple.

  • Carverlier football

    Quelle surprise

  • Big Hairy Man

    Is anyone really surprised by this? Ashley and his shady subservients have treated the fans with utter contempt for 11 years.

    • JohnCornwell’sHair

      No, nobody is surprised in the slightest.

  • Leicester Mag

    Dog Trots up to owner love in its eyes. Casually the owner kicks it and laughs, why? Simple he can and moreover he takes a sickening pleasure in it knowing the daft dog will be back. Remind people of anything?

    • Geordiegiants

      Lambs to the slaughter n all that?

  • Mrkgw

    Happy to take supporters hard earned cash and yet, show none other than contempt by return. Keep turning the screw.

  • Peaky

    At this moment in time….and I’m including some very nasty dictators….. I honestly don’t think there’s a biggercunt on this planet that Fatbastard…..

    • Kneebotherm8

      Mike Ashley…….also known by his pseudonym……..Warwick Hunt….

      • East Durham Mag

        Just read that and can’t stop laughing which isn’t good when your recovering from broken ribs ha ha ha …. OUCH 😂😭

    • Geordiegiants

      👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻Go on Peaky, it’s not just shithouse!

  • Kneebotherm8

    We should have a monthly fans forum in Monkseaton……….Mugpie can take on the role of Charnley……..

    • Big Hairy Man

      And Goatrider can be Bishop.

      • Leazes.

        Same person… all the same person!

  • magpiefifer

    This excuse of an owner is a cowardly control freak!!

  • JohnCornwell’sHair

    Where are the usual suspects?

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    I know four people who have served on the forum and they said it was a worthwhile exercise and they enjoyed it. The forum will take place just at a later date and all questions will be answered as normal so do not know why people are complaining .

    • KRS1

      No you don’t, no they didn’t, no they didn’t, no it won’t and no they won’t.

      • Wezza

        Just block the troll mate, he lives to wind people up.

        • Hughie_Gallacher

          I’d wind him up – with him dangling from a rope.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            No doubt the key board warriors will be at Forest and Man City not much chance of that.

      • BanJones

        Block him, he knows nowt about the game – you will learn nothing from him.

    • KRS1

      And we’ve all been to more games than you.

    • KRS1

      And we are all harder than you.

    • JohnCornwell’sHair

      Why postpone it the day before then? It’s been in the calendar long enough.

    • Blackandwhite9

      How do you guys keep up the energy in defending this odious human being wether that be his contemptuous running of NUFC or his woeful behaviour st SD , I really hope for your sakes that the payment is worth it whether that be silver coins or Donnay socks

    • multipolice

      the mag comment section,meet STEVE aka monkseaton mag,aka pboromag,aka,ghostrider…never been to a match in his life.

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Been worried about you!

    • Danimal

      You don’t know why people are complaining about anything, apparently. Clown.

  • Steven05

    Please – use these things as a reminder that he is NOT invincible

  • Leazes.

    The club web page says of the Fans Forum..

    …’The Fans Forum consists of 16 fans and senior Newcastle United officials and was introduced in 2013 to enhance and structure dialogue between fans and their club’….

    No it wasn’t, it was set up as a UEFA Directive which all clubs must comply.

    it goes on…

    …’Unlike many forums at other clubs, which are voted in by a panel or elected by fellow supporters on the strength of written applications, applicants to the Fans Forum at Newcastle United are required to select an individual seat for which they meet criteria’….

    In other words they don’t want fans to elect representatives they wan’t total control…..they select the representative…. (which NUST contact)

    but they still cant stop the questions….. unless they stop the meetings!

  • FatParosite

    I annoyed at those undertaking the fans forum for giving credence to the whole process and allowing Ashley to tick an FA box. This was never going to work as the message is so controlled and outrightly nullifies any point in doing it.

    • Leazes.

      No…. NUST has been reinstated.

      I think they’re just scared after what they did this Summer….or should be didn’t do this Summer?

      • FatParosite

        It’s still a sham.

  • Down Under Mag

    He will be laughing his head off at this, thinking he is doing the fans head in and chuckling to Wise over a pint. The whole runnign of the club is a joke. What other club has an owner actively undermining the current manager?!?!?

    • Leazes.

      Club cancelled fans forum to remove senior officials from the firing line.

  • Foggy

    Demonstrating outside Sports Direct is a waste of time. Ashley doesn’t live here so maybe the message Needs to be delivered to Charnley who is also sitting at home laughing his head off.

    • panther

      but the shareholders will be taking note

      • SuperDesHamilton

        They are, they’ve been advised to vote against Ashley at the next meeting in September

        • panther

          good, he desrves nothing less than his empire of greed to come crashing down round him

    • SuperDesHamilton

      To be fair to charnley I’m amazed he manages to function & get through a day, such a big head with nothing inside it

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    This is nothing less than a declaration of war by the Ashley regime against Newcastle supporters. They don’t care, they never have cared about anything other than the promotion of SD tat. Let us act accordingly.

  • Leazes.

    I’d like to see all of the regions MP’s take on Ashley including those from a little further afield such as the brilliant Ronnie Campbell.

  • JohnnyH

    Only ever existed to keep UEFA happy, nothing ever came from it

    Ashley can stick it up his pumper for me, if there’s room next to Monkseaton Magpies

    • Leazes.

      What are you saying? Most clubs have dialogue!

      Its only here that the chairman hides and with good reason…he’s helped to asset strip the club!

  • SuperDesHamilton

    The next ones held in the st James park lift, chaired by Monkseaton. He’s got the 2006 accounts at the ready lads

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      The 2007 Accounts are the important ones but can bring the 2006 ones to.

      • SuperDesHamilton

        I was worried when you hadn’t been on all day Sunday thought you’d combusted or set about some protesters

        • MadMag83

          He was travelling up to Manchester for Monday night’s game.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Expect a torrent of rubbish today then since his team got spanked

          • MadMag83

            Respect, respect, respect!

  • Colin Brumwell

    Why bother,we all know nothing will change as long as the FCB is there

  • nufcslf

    Empty ground…………

  • Danimal

    Classy as always.

  • Danimal

    Ashley’s next move has to be buying Wonga, probably for £1. It is morally bankrupt as well as the other kind of bankrupt, so a perfect fit for him. Then, once he’s shafted any creditors and employees etc, he can relaunch it as a vehicle for HOF/SD store cards and as a compulsory way of purchasing SJP season tickets…then if anyone defaults, he could offer to take on their mortgage or rental agreements at a special rate. Why does this only sound a little bit far fetched?

  • Wezza

    The trolls will be in a bad mood as they are losing at home to Spurs 0-2 hee hee.

  • East Durham Mag

    The fans forum should go ahead in the style of the BBC’s Have I Got News For You and have 3 tubs of lard representing Fatty, Bishop and Penfold.

    • MadMag83

      3 tubs of lard is only just enough for Ashley.

  • wheyayeman

    If wonga can jump to a worth of a billion to bust then so can Fatso!

  • Jonas

    Lee Charnely not being available!?
    from what? His day job is doing nothing even when the window is open.

    • Big Hairy Man

      Finger painting and colouring in.

      • East Durham Mag

        Slightly challenging for him. Window licking at best.

  • Down Under Mag

    No real surprise. The FF is a joke anyway and pure PR nonsense as they always have a scripted Q&A session that offers the fans no real answers to anything that is going on, usually just more smokescreens and mirrors. Given the vast number of hard hitting question they will not have answers to (without indicting themselves) it is no wonder they cancelled it. The F.A. need to step in and start applying pressure, weren’t they insisting on mandatory fans forums??

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Why don’t you put yourself forward to be on the FF if the members aren’t asking the right questions?

      What question have you asked a member to present that has been brushed off with smoke and mirrors?

  • MadMag83

    And this is from a club who’s owner has written to parliament asking for more communication. You couldn’t make it up!

    Perhaps Charnley is too busy trying to shift players out of Newcastle before the European transfer window closes? Getting rid of players is about the only thing he seems to be good at, apart from licking the chocolate off a doughnut.

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      Which players has he got rid of who Rafa wanted to keep cannot think of one.

      • MadMag83

        Perhaps you should re-read my original post. At no point did I say he had got rid of players Rafa wanted to keep. Rather he (Charnley) is better at removing players off the wage bill than he is at bringing them in.

        Once again, in your desperation to defend the regime, you’ve jumped to the wrong conclusion and exposed yourself as an Ashley apologist/troll.

  • mactoon

    Just reading through Article 35 of the UEFA SLO Handbook

    “The SLO should be chosen from among the supporters whenever possible. The SLO must be present among the fans. The SLO must know them and be known and accepted by them. Only then can they assess the mood among supporters. Only then can they understand the problems fans may face and their needs and wants. It is a difficult job that demands a lot of resilience and hard work. We therefore recommend the appointment of a genuine supporter”

    Lee Marshall, supporter liaison manager at Newcastle United (Appointed by the fans?), said:

    “Supporters are the lifeblood of any football club so introducing a new Forum which will enable Newcastle fans to share their views and ideas with the Club’s decision makers is a very positive step.
    “Direct, structured communication is vital to building a strong, sustainable relationship with our supporters and we are looking forward to working closely with them for the benefit of Newcastle United.”

    Really?