The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) have revealed that they took part in a ‘Fan-led review’ on Monday – a meeting that saw them ‘take aim’ against the Premier League and Mike Ashley’s running of the club.
The Zoom call saw them cover NUFC’s complete lack of communication, the need for independent regulators in the takeover process and lessons learnt from their 1892 pledge – a fan-led initiative bidding to buy a 1% stake in the club under new owners.
In a member update, they have also revealed seven questions they have put to the Premier League over the stalled Saudi takeover – questioning their total lack of transparency and broken promises when it comes to a reform of their infamous Owners and Directors Test.
Here’s the questions Alex Hurst and Trust Chair Greg Tomlinson put forward when giving evidence to former sports minister Tracey Crouch MP:
After speaking to a nine-person panel on Monday, NUST board member Alex Hurst said this to The Chronicle about the Premier League’s lack of communication and false promises throughout the ongoing takeover saga:
“We took aim against the Premier League,”
“When we said ‘There’s no rules against the club refusing to be transparent or communicate’ or even follow its own fan engagement guidelines there’s no sanction.
“They asked: ‘Did you tell the Premier League?’ and the answer is we did, but the Premier League have never sanctioned any of its clubs for failure to follow those regulations. So are they even regulations if they’re not followed? They’re on paper but not followed.
“We touched on the owners and directors test issues. There’s no transparency there from the Premier League either.
“They promised transparency and to reform the ODT after the shambles of last summer but they haven’t. How can we trust the Premier League to regulate Newcastle United when it can’t regulate itself?
“We are in favour of the independent regulator. Very much so.”
Hurst then discussed other topics discussed in the meeting, also explaining why Mike Ashley’s ‘rogue’ running of Newcastle United was addressed:
“It was useful – the panel really engaged with what we were saying,” Hurst said after Monday’s meeting.
“They were really interested in the 1892 pledge scheme, had lots of questions about it and were very interested in the lack of communication from Newcastle United.
“We discussed broader issues in football and issues unique to Newcastle.
“The club are a unique case study in football. One of the proposals being spoken about is putting supporters on the board – but how could you put two non-executive directors on Newcastle’s board? It doesn’t have a board. It only has one director at the club.
“Newcastle’s problems aren’t maybe worse than some of those down the league but they’re a useful reminder that whatever is introduced by the Government it needs to try and tackle rogue clubs with rogue owners like United who don’t quite fit the big six ‘bad owner’ narrative but are an issue in their own right.
“(Mike) Ashley and (Lee) Charnley are a different sort of problematic for football because the club has no executive management structure.
“The problem is there are no rules against the way Ashley decides to run Newcastle but that doesn’t make it right.”