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Asking Newcastle United fans for your support ahead of NUST elections

2 months ago
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A request for all Newcastle United fans, especially those who are NUST members, can you have a read through below please.

I have put myself forward for the upcoming NUST (Newcastle United Supporters Trust) elections because I believe I can make a difference.

Interested in all comments and even criticism from Newcastle United fans of what I have laid out in my NUST election statement below, just so long as it is constructive…

While there are lots of positives, I think there many things NUST can do better.

In the statement below, I have included new ideas which I think are needed.

My NUST Election Statement:

‘I would like to put myself forward for the NUST board in the coming election. The fan experience in supporting Newcastle United is at an all-time low, and not enough has been done to improve this.

We can do more. NUST needs to become a more proactive organisation. It isn’t true that NUST does nothing. From protecting fans, to building key relationships within the media and parliament – as well as the 1892 pledge scheme – I am not a critic who thinks that NUST has ‘done nowt’ and needs to be turned upside down. What is so important now though is that we have a board than can do more.

The main reason why I am putting myself forward again for election this year is that I believe that the issue of ownership change at Newcastle United, fans right to protest and the need for NUST to take control of their relationship with the club are integral to the future of Newcastle United.

I want answers and open dialogue from the club. There should be no more secrets. I don’t know about you, but I have become tired with seeing statement after statement from various parties involved in the club. Talk is cheap, Newcastle United has become cheap and we really need to start introducing actionable measures. If they fail, they fail – but we have to begin to try to seriously implement change today.

Transparency has become a key word. We demand transparency from the club, and the Premier League, rightly so. However, I believe that NUST needs to become more transparent also. What are we doing? What are our ideas? Where do we want to go? If we can’t communicate sufficiently with our own members, then how can begin to expect others to communicate sufficiently with us? I think we are in real danger of becoming an organisation, viewed by its own fans, of one that is not open to critical fan opinion or difference of opinion.

Aside from the takeover saga, NUFC is still decaying right infront of our eyes. There are so many issues at large that need to be addressed aside from the takeover. Kick-off times with no regards for away fans, shirt prices, ticket prices, safe standing etc. Along with the media, both locally and nationally – we can all do an awful lot more than what we are doing.

We must be more open. The more opinions, the better – whether we like it or not – and in some cases, whether it’s fair or not.

Listed below are 10 of my ideas, and propositions if I am elected:

More open, transparent and clear communication between NUST board and members.

Free to view, transparent board meetings which will be posted on YouTube for all to watch.

Introduce an official NUST SLO to represent fan issues with the club.

Initiate a relationship with club sponsors, Castore, Fun88 etc in regard to the running of the club and other issues, such as the extortionate price of shirts.

Engaging with local authority for matchday travel, be it local transit, or national rail. Can we get rail discounts? The cost of football is becoming extortionate and we need to start this change.

100% full backing and support of safe, organised and legal fan protests.

In person and online community/townhall style events where members can join in with discussions, share their own ideas, provide in person feedback/criticism.

Work with government and local authority to raise the wider issues of NUFC and footballs fans in the public domain. Fixtures lists, ticket prices, communication etc.

I will open my schedule each week to chat with any fans about their ideas, feedback, share what we are doing etc.

Actively engage more with local, national and international media to get our voice and message out there to an even wider audience.

Fans should have the right to protest. I believe in protest – and if elected I’ll be doing all I can to ensure that NUST backs protest, but also actively engages with organisers. What is equally important is that any protest is organised efficiently and lawfully. If it is, then I’ll be backing it. Creating negative publicity surrounding Mike Ashley’s ownership of NUFC is integral to change.

This does not mean that NUST is a protest group, or ever should be a protest group. A trust is about long term owning a stake in their club and, in the mean-time, doing positive things that contribute to the fan-experience.

NUST has come so far in a short space of time, but we have to change from what I believe is our current Mr Nice Guy approach. Fresh impetus, new ideas and more measurable action. We have lost the balance between fighting for a new owner, and not allowing the club to continue to get a free ride from the fans.

Newcastle United needs a Supporters Liaison Officer. Officially, this is Lee Marshall, however, it is fair to say that he exists in the role by name only. I will be suggesting that NUST put forward their own SLO in order to liaise with fans.

I want to be on the board because I care for the opinion of all NUFC fans. I’m not doing this for myself but to give a voice to fans who feel they don’t have one. Not just for me, or my mates, but a voice to those fans I may disagree with, a voice to the ones who want NUST to be better, and a voice to the ones who want more proactive action, and ultimately a better Newcastle United.

We have to be more proactive. We may fail, but it’s better to do something than to do nothing. Let’s start today.

Football without fans is nothing.

Cheers

Jonathan Drape-Comyn’

You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanComyn

(To join 14,000+ other fans as members of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust go HERE)

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