An alternative way to run a fan group?

A better way to unite fan and board?
Inspired by a late night conversation with Steve Wraith the other night, I thought I’d recap my thoughts in one article rather than over several comments.

Essentially it’s about all of these fan groups that have popped up over the last few years. From the NUST to United For Newcastle and now Newcastle Fans United they all have one thing in common. They haven’t really got anywhere.

This article is not to be down on their efforts. In fact I commend them for standing up for what they believe in and for that they should be applauded. I do feel that perhaps there is a different way to go about trying to stoke up the fires of communication though, and it may not be popular.

The way I see it as that a lot of these groups have a vocal anti-board stance right from the get go. Naturally they are all going to have this to an extent otherwise they wouldn’t have been formed in the first place right? I’ve yet to hear of a fan group trying to improve things when they are happy with most things at their club…

To me this is a problem. In fact I’d say that it’s a fairly big problem. The chances are that if someone is repeatedly critical then the defences will go up and they’ll just shut up shop. It’s been shut for some time, but United For Newcastle, when they first started, had the right idea and went the right way about things. The result was that they got to speak to representatives at the club. That of course changed when they started being vocal against the owner.



Now remember what I said earlier? About all these groups having an anti-board stance? To me that isn’t a problem, but to get anywhere they’ll need to box clever. We constantly hear about things that these groups are unhappy about yet we very rarely hear any credit given out. Perhaps that is because they don’t see where or if any credit is due? Something like that anyway…

From a personal perspective I was always brought up to speak to people how you like to be spoken to. It’s not a bad thing to do actually and generally it ensures that you tick along quite nicely and get some respect back. Perhaps a less confrontational and less volatile approach may be of benefit?

Now I’m fairly sure that someone will turn round and say that they won’t listen anyway. Fair enough and I suspect that they are probably right, but what is the harm in trying a different approach given that the current one doesn’t appear to be working?

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

24 thoughts on “An alternative way to run a fan group?

  1. I dont no what it is with some nufc fans some are the yappiest ive ever heard. after we beat wolves some boy on twitter said why the F*** was ben arfa and marv not playing its a discrase and we won i would love to have kicked him in the balls. in the summer differnt guy wen didnt get a striker they were out goin 2 protest an all again yap yap yap now I cant hear them the guy doesnt tweet about nufc now.lol only tweets about nufc wen something bad is happening. I can garentee u aswell wen we lose are first game it will all be ashleys fault IDIOTS no nothing about football go back 2 fifa.. R they should support man utd if they want a team that will win all the time

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  2. Dont really know much about these groups but i can guess they are exactly like all the negative nancy’s on here.

    It seems they are so set in their hatred for the current board they cant think anything good can happen wile they are in charge of the club.

    From my own point of view if i criticise i make it constructive and i will alway praise the good work that has been done aswell which alot of our fans fail to do.

    It would be interesting to see a pro’s v con’s type list of the things the board has done wile at the club.

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  3. The problem with the pro/con list is that much of it will be personal opinion and not fact based. Like I may see something decent whislt others don’t and vice-versa 🙂

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  4. I’ve yet to hear of a fan group trying to improve things when they are happy with most things at their club…
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    Ture, but I am not sure why that couldn’t be the case. Nothing wrong with lines of communication and making improvements to the match day experience, relations with supporters or the community, etc.

    The problem with current groups is that they are confrontational and surly, making “demands” and having “agendas”. Fair enough, its their right but they genuinely represent a subset of fans which makes the whole “United” thing a bit of a joke. The sad fact is these groups have the effect of broadening the gap between owners and supporters.

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  5. @ Toonsy

    Fair point but that could make a good few articles to debate if certain things are pro or con. Just a thought 😀

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  6. Whatever happened to the NUFC Fans Liaison Commitee? Wasn’t that a good/empty gesture from the club to listen?

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  7. @6. I thought about making a recomendation for an article along those lines following the transfer window. Not pros and cons so much, but sort of a listing of all the things the current ownership has doen since they took over, such as players brought in and sent out, finances before and after, on-pitch results, bfore and after, etc. Then let the comments sort out the pros and cons. Might be good for post- January when we will better be able to judge the current squad, the comings and goings of the next window, and have last year’s finacnes to review.

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  8. @ MDS @ 5…

    I was going to say our attendances are currently down about 7 thousand per game at the moment. I know there is a recession at present, but it would be interesting to know exactly how many of those are not there due to opposition of the running of the club – and even more interesting to know how many of them are a direct result of the influence that these groups may or may not be having….

    No matter who is right or wrong, less gate receipts means less financial resources to the club – including transfer funds/wages etc…. So ultimately, it is the fan that ends up being punished….

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  9. Also N.IRISH/MDS – That sounds like a good idea for a series of articles. You should have a crack at it. Toonsy is very supportive when it comes to readers wanting to chip in… 😉

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  10. I was hoping some of these fan groups would get involved in this but it appears not. Too busy licking each others arses I suspect 😉

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  11. I was hoping some of these fan groups would get involved in this but it appears not. Too busy licking each others arses I suspect
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    Well, there’s that. Also, the Ashley oot mantra rings a bit hollow when we’re sitting in 4th place. Identity crisis at the moment methinks

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  12. A pros versus cons article would be a great idea. I think we will find the owner and his pal Llambias have been involved in a lot of both. I think one of the reasons they are just beginning to try to communicate again is because they are worried about the drop in attendance, not because they are suddenly saints. Also the removal of the singing section and the poor treatment of the people involved is a big problem for them. Memories of other problems haven’t gone away either. The club is on a good run so everything is sunshine and smiles but if we start to slip up, especially if we get a few crucial injuries our lack of depth will be exposed and that is the responsibility of upper management as well.

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  13. I think one of the reasons they are just beginning to try to communicate again is because they are worried about the drop in attendance, not because they are suddenly saints.
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    Rather cynical there but I actually agree with you. 😉

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  14. I wish it wasn’t so MDS but the lower attendances and sudden interest in supporters from Ashley/Llambias is just too much to be a coincidence to me. I do think Ashley also wants to make peace with most of the supporters as long as they show him a little respect. Mostly he wants to make money. I always wondered about people like that. No amount of money is enough but what is he doing with it? Adding to his waistline, getting wasted more often, buying more toys? What is his mental age I wonder? He always appeared to be a little juvenile in his behaviour to me. Lots of sulking and lashing out when he doesn’t get his own way. I guess it could be worse though. We could be stuck with Abramovitch or Sheik Mansour who are busy trying to ruin the league with overspending. Just random thoughts and many will not agree I’m sure. Let’s hope we win on Sunday! 😆

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  15. I’m quite happy with how things are going and i even support Ashley’s approach to running the club with tight purse strings etc. But I’m also in the cat & mouse camp who are gloomily expecting him to do his next dastardly deed…like sell our 6 best players for 200 million in the next transfer window or something!

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  16. I’ve always thought ashley had the right idea just ballsed up implementing it. Granted we all get frustrated at not getting a striker or getting rid of level 7 but we are still in a far better position than many clubs. Plus that steve wraith fella just comes across as a total bellend. All you here from is crap about how everythings terrible. I think a big problem for newcastle fans is that when shephard was in charge he’d blab off about everything. Then ashley was in and just kept stum but not many other clubs communicate with their fans. Leave them to the business end we’ll do the supporting.

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  17. If you suspect that they wont listen anyway then surely thats just dividing the fanbase into yet another group or tier .
    I agree you should always speak as you find and i have always found ahsley and lambias to be arrogant disrespectfull liars so thats probably why people dont like them and treat them with the same contemp .
    IMO Ashley will not listen to the positive or negative fans he will do what is best for him and the bottom line .
    So i would rather stand firm to what i believe in and be able to say i dont like then because of a b c and its not a successfull or stable model because of x y z but at the same time if there are positives like our current form and league position i will lap it up and give praise were it is due .
    Well done collicini 😀

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  18. like many on here, i am split about my opinion of ashley and llambiass.I think january is going to tell us a lot about the future of the club,if we are still riding high near the top six,and maybe still in the cup,then i hope he would make quite a bit of cash available to strengthen the squad,doesnt have to be wow signings.Just follow mr carrs advice,

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