Buy stake in Newcastle United – NUST 1892 Pledge fund nears big milestone
A new ‘1892 Pledge’ project was launched (see below) by NUST at the beginning of April 2021, with the aim of Newcastle United fans buying part of the football club.
This is a long-term objective and the idea is to prepare for the day when Mike Ashley finally sells NUFC.
The project launched now (in April 2021), in order that fans can collectively contribute to an ever growing fund, which would then be ready to convert to owning a part of Newcastle United alongside new owners, if they were willing to partner with the supporters.
Three weeks ago NUST announced that over £85,000 had been contributed by Newcastle fans so far.
That total put together thanks to over 5,000 NUFC supporters contributing up to 18 May 2021..
NUST saying that over 2,000 Newcastle fans have signed up to a monthly pledge / direct debit, with those monthly pledges totalling over £20,000. Here at The Mag, we are one of those 2,000+ that have committed to a small / modest monthly direct debit.
Our (The Mag’s) latest small but regular (monthly) direct debit has just been taken and checking on the NUST 1892 Pledge site, it is showing £97,604 as the latest updated running total.
Passing that £100,000 milestone is now imminent after only two months of the fundraising campaign and in reality, due to that running total always lagging behind the true total, the actual current figure is probably a lot closer to that hundred grand notch.
No doubt some reading this will be quick to belittle the amount raised BUT anybody who has been involved in any kind of fundraising will tell you that £100,000 is not an amount to be easily raised in two months.
Yes the club if sold would go for something like £300m but you can’t get hang up on that figure.
This is all about lots of Newcastle fans coming together and all giving a little bit, not massive sums they can’t really afford to part with, to keep building the fund bit by bit, in order to hopefully one day the NUFC supporters collectively owning / controlling a small part of the football club.
No reason why in time if that was successful when working with new ambitious and clued up owners, that the fans share in NUFC could continue to grow and grow.
Even at this slow but steady rate (hopefully more fans will contribute as they see the fund growing bigger and bigger), if the initiative had stated back when Mike Ashley first bought Newcastle United, the fund would now be worth around £8.4m (averaging £50,000 a month since May 2007). That equating to getting on for 3% of the club, if valued at £300m.
Everything needs a starting point.
At the heart of the idea / project is that this is a long-term thing, there is no short-term quick fix.
This is all about engaging with massive numbers of the fanbase to encourage all to give a little, with many having signed up already to do so on a regular basis via a monthly direct debit.
Obviously this scheme won’t be for everybody and in these cash-strapped times for so many, it is particularly understandable.
However, I do think it is at least worth everybody having a look at what the 1892 Pledge is all about.
Key things I believe people need to understand before contributing anything.
Firstly, the fund is in safe hands with four ‘Guardians’ responsible for overseeing it – Warren Barton (former NUFC player), Ian Mearns (MP for Gateshead), George Caulkin (North East football reporter for The Athletic) and Lee Humble (chartered accountant).
Secondly, if a point is reached where new owners come in and don’t want to allow NUFC fans to collectively own a stake in the club, or not enough money had been accumulated, then the cash raised would be donated to local charities.
Thirdly, by contributing money, individual fans don’t then own a share. Instead, if there was a stake in NUFC, it would be held collectively and with all NUST members having an equal vote when it comes to deciding how the share in Newcastle United is utilised.
If you would like to get involved with the NUST 1892 Pledge scheme, go HERE to contribute and / or to find out more.
Thursday 8 April 2021 – Original launch NUST (Newcastle United Supporters Trust) Press release:
SUPPORTERS of Newcastle United are launching a bid to buy part of their club.
Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) is spearheading the drive to take a stake in the future of Newcastle United Football Club.
The Trust, which has more than 14,000 members, is asking United supporters to pledge small amounts of money for a fund that aims to buy part of the club when it is sold by the current owner, Mike Ashley.
The 1892 Pledge – named after the year Newcastle United was formed – has been three years in the planning and has already attracted support from the worlds of football, politics and the media.
Through the 1892 Pledge, NUST aims to build a pot of money that can either give supporters a small share of the club if it is sold while in the Premier League or see fans ready to step in to help save the club in the event of relegation and the financial consequences that could see a change of ownership.
— NUFC Supporters Trust (NUST) (@nufctrust) April 8, 2021
Greg Tomlinson, Chair of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust said: “For decades, fans have been told they are the lifeblood of the club, but when major decisions are made, they are always left out.
“It is an unfortunate fact that in football, as in life, money talks. Therefore, we feel that if we as fans really want to be an active part of conversations that will dictate the future of Newcastle United, we have to put our money where our mouth is.
“Raising funds will give us the financial backing to make our voices properly heard as and when the club is eventually sold.”
Alex Hurst, Trust board member and the driving force behind the 1892 Pledge, said:
“The 1892 Pledge could mean we, as fans, can invest in our club, that could be in the form of a percentage stake in NUFC if it is sold whilst in the Premier League or, if things take a turn for the worse and the club’s fortunes sink further, we would be there standing ready to provide investment and potentially be part of a buying consortium.
“Supporters must have a say in what happens to NUFC and we believe this campaign will give us a real voice in the running of the club – not just now but for years and decades into the future.”
Fans are being asked to pay in what they can, when they can to fund the 1892 Pledge.
Supporters are encouraged to set up direct debit payments through a dedicated website – www.1892pledge.co.uk – which will display the total amount raised by fans on a daily basis.
Alex explained: “It is important to stress we are not asking fans to part with their life savings or cash in their pension pots – this is not what Pledge 1892 is about.
“Instead, it’s about making small, regular donations of a few pounds a month (or more if people can spare it!) which will build up a fund over time.
“It’s also about bringing NUFC supporters together in a common goal, not just fans in the North East and the UK but all over the world.
“We believe there is nothing that fans of this club can’t achieve when we are truly united and this is a chance for us to prove it.”
The Trust has appointed four ‘Guardians’ to safeguard the money raised and ensure it can only be used for one of two purposes.
The first purpose is to buy shares in Newcastle United FC.
The second is that if NUST fails in its attempt to buy a part of the club when it is sold because they have failed to raise the funds or a new owner did not want to sell a part of the club to supporters then all of the money would be donated to charities based in the North East of England.
The Guardians of the fund are:
• Warren Barton, former NUFC and England defender
• Ian Mearns, MP for Gateshead
• George Caulkin, North East football reporter for The Athletic
• Lee Humble, chartered accountant.
Alex Hurst said: “All four of our Guardians are passionate about Newcastle United and its supporters.
“They believe, as we do, that the future success and viability of the club depends on the fans – even more so with the financial problems brought about by the pandemic.
“Before Covid-19 hit, some people were confident that Premier League clubs could essentially survive on TV money, but that has been blown out of the water over the past 12 months.
“The financial situation faced by clubs across the league, not just NUFC, demonstrates just what a vital role fans play.
“We already have power and financial clout. Imagine what we could do with a proper stake in the club.”
In return for the fans’ financial backing, NUST would like new owners to allow the Trust to work within the club, either through an executive board position or another role which can allow the Trust, its members and the supporters of Newcastle United to influence the club and its future direction.
Alex said: “There is a huge and ever-growing disconnect between the people who run Newcastle United and the people who support the club.
“This is not just confined to the question of who manages the team – recent polls in the Chronicle and The Athletic have flagged up the intense disaffection which fans have with the entire running of the club.
“This situation is unhealthy and unsustainable. We believe the 1892 Pledge is the first step towards writing a better future for Newcastle United.
“This is an ambitious project designed to begin the hard work of protecting the club for the next generation of Newcastle United fans.”
(To join 14,000+ other fans as members of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust go HERE)
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