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Newcastle United owners don’t allow fans to buy share of club – Massive cash windfall for charities

2 weeks ago

Three months after the Newcastle United owners took control of the club, the ‘1892 Pledge Scheme’ has now been brought to an end.

With Mike Ashley approaching 14 years in control of the club, NUST set up the 1892 Pledge Scheme to raise cash from supporters, in the hope that if the club was ever sold, new Newcastle United owners would allow pledge money to be used to buy a collective stake in NUFC, no matter how small.

However, in an email to members today (12 January 2022), NUST have said that following informal talks with the new Newcastle United owners, the pledge scheme will now be brought to a close and the cash raised so far (over £200,000) be distributed to charities, so long as the NUST members vote in agreement.

I’m guessing this vote will be a foregone conclusion with no chance of fans being able to buy a share of Newcastle United and the good news is that charities are set to benefit.

With the consortium, it was always very difficult to envisage how exactly a share of the club was going to be allowed for the fans and so it has proved.

NUST (Newcastle United Supporters Trust) Official Statement to members – 12 January 2022:

Member Vote: Future of the 1892 Pledge Scheme

Dear member,

The 1892 Pledge Scheme was launched in April 2021 with the aim of acquiring and holding, either directly or through a subsidiary, all or any of the shares and securities of Newcastle United Football Club or any other company owning or controlling the club.

At the time of writing over 6,000 Newcastle United supporters have pledged over £200,000 in support of the Scheme.

When the Trust launched the Scheme the football club was owned by Mike Ashley, in danger of being relegated and the future of the club was uncertain. In October 2021 the club was sold to a consortium led by Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi. The Trust and its members have consistently supported our new owners, before and after the Takeover process was completed.

The Trust has held informal conversations with the new owners who have provided support and advice to the Trust Board on the 1892 Pledge Scheme.

The figure of £200,000 raised by Newcastle United fans is a mammoth sum in such a short period of time. The number of monthly pledges has understandably declined since the Takeover. In December 2021 1,400 people pledged just over £10,000 to the Scheme.

In the 1892 Pledge Scheme Rules (found here) point 2.8 states

2.8. In the event that the Trust Board and the Guardians of the Scheme decide that there is no longer any likelihood of being able to buy any shares in the Club and therefore to wind up the scheme, The Trust will then consult with its members to get agreement on the best way to distribute the monies raised to a Sporting Charity or Charity in the North East England Region.

On 16th December 2021 the 1892 Pledge Scheme Guardians met to discuss the future of the Pledge Scheme and decided to advise the Trust Board that the Scheme should end. You can read the minutes of that meeting here.

On 21st December 2021 the Trust Board met to discuss ending the Pledge Scheme and voted to put to the members of the Trust the question of if the Pledge Scheme should stop collecting payments and begin the process of distributing funds to charities in the North East of England. You can read the minutes of that meeting here.

It is the view of both the Guardians of the Scheme and the majority of the Trust Board that the time is now to end the Scheme. There is no longer any likelihood that the money in the Pledge Scheme will be able to purchase any shares in Newcastle United. The change in ownership has, in the view of the Guardians and the Board, changed the possibility that the club will need to be rescued by supporters in the short, medium, or long term.

The Trust Board has put together a summary of arguments made for and against continuing the Scheme. You can read the motivation behind ending the Scheme and arguments for continuing the Scheme here.

Voting will close on Friday 14th January 2022 at 5pm and the Trust will contact members within 48 hours to communicate the results of the member decision and any next steps required.

In order to vote, you must hold an active NUST membership…’


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