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?