NUST Official Announcement – Milestone reached en route to buying stake in Newcastle United
NUST have released an official announcement on Thursday morning.
A milestone reached en route to hopefully buying a stake in Newcastle United.
Launched only two months ago, the 1892 Pledge Scheme has now sailed past the £100,000 mark.
The idea being for Newcastle United fans to collectively build up a fund of money, that would allow supporters to own a small part of their club, if new ambitious owners come in to replace Mike Ashley and are willing to work with the NUFC fans moving forward.
NUST Official Announcement:
‘1892 Pledge Scheme breaks £100,000 barrier
A FAN-LED bid to buy part of Newcastle United has broken the six-figure barrier, just two months after its launch.
The 1892 Pledge Scheme has now raised over £100,000 since it was launched by the Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) in April.
Those behind the scheme have hailed the progress as “astonishing” but say this is just the start for the ambitious project which aims to give fans a real and lasting voice in how their club is run.
“For ordinary fans to raise over £100,000 in such a short space of time is astonishing – but then Newcastle United fans have never been ordinary,” said former NUFC and England defender Warren Barton, one of four ‘Guardians’ appointed to control and watch over the funds raised.
“The love they have for their club and the devotion they display to their team is second to none so when I was approached to get involved with the 1892 Pledge, I just had to say yes.
“However, even I was surprised at the speed at which the Pledge has taken off and how much money has already been raised.
“When you consider the current economic climate, not just in the North East but around the world, and the fact that fans haven’t been able to go to games for over a year, it is amazing to think that the fund has already hit six figures.”
The 1892 Pledge Scheme – 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 scheme, 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.
Supporters donate one-off amounts or regular monthly direct debits via a dedicated website – www.1892pledge.co.uk – which displays the amount raised and is constantly updated.
In return for the fans’ financial backing, NUST want new owners to allow the Trust to work within the club, either through a non-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.
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 does not want to sell a part of the club to supporters then all of the money will be donated to charities based in the North East of England.
Greg Tomlinson, Chair of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust, which has over 14,000 members, said: “When we were planning the 1892 Pledge Scheme, we believed that fans would be willing to get behind the project, but I have to say we’ve been blown away by the response so far.
“We’ve had one-off donations ranging from a couple of quid to thousands of pounds and we’ve had a significant number of people already sign up to give monthly amounts.
“We’ve had people donating on behalf of loved ones and friends who are sadly no longer with us, we’ve had people who no longer go to games donating what they would have spent on their tickets and we’ve had so many fantastic, positive messages of support to accompany the donations.
“And we’ve had pledges not just from Newcastle, the North East and the UK but from Newcastle fans right across the world showing the truly global appeal this club has.
“The Pledge really seems to have brought fans together and created something positive for them to get involved with during what has been a difficult time both on and off the pitch.”
Among those pledging their support for the project have been Newcastle United legend and all-time top scorer Alan Shearer, who took part in a live Supporters Trust YouTube broadcast about the 1892 Pledge last month.
Speaking at the event, Shearer said: “I got involved because I’m a fan like everyone else.
“We’re not asking for fans to run football clubs but I absolutely believe in fans having a say and a voice in their club.
“If we’ve realised anything over the last 14 months it’s that football without fans is nothing – it’s soulless and lifeless – we need fans involved and I hope that this will be recognised.”
Greg Tomlinson said: “Having one of your idols like Alan Shearer coming out and publicly supporting the 1892 Pledge has been massively helpful – it’s hard to think of a better endorsement.
“This is a long-term project but we’re off to a great start and we’ve got some exciting plans for ways to take the 1892 Pledge Scheme further with more activities becoming possible as the Covid-19 restrictions start to lift.
In addition to Warren Barton, the other guardians appointed to watch over the 1892 Pledge fund are Gateshead MP Ian Mearns, The Athletic’s North East football writer George Caulkin and chartered accountant Lee Humble.
Further information about the 1892 Pledge is available at www.1892pledge.co.uk
(To join 14,000+ other fans as members of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust go HERE)
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