Fan Opinion Piece
Reply to Comments in the Journal
I was interested in comments about the project for a fans takeover of NUFC in the Journal. The negative responses of the great and the good are disappointing. Bob Moncur says it would be unworkable. Why? Is he saying that 156,000 Catalans who make up the ’socios’ are more committed than Geordies or that they are better organised than us? A little more faith in Newcastle fans please Bobby. There are also a lot of misconceptions regarding this issue.
Steve Wraith raises the questions of finance.
“I don’t think it’s a realistic option in this day and age, when you need to be competing with the best clubs and that means we need money coming in from a buyer who can do the job and pump money into the organisation.”
First of all Steve, club owners including Ashley do not put their own money into clubs, despite what they say. They usually use their shareholder’s money.
Secondly, Real Madrid which is a not for profit sports club is regularly quoted as the richest club in the world. It simply is not necessary to have a rich backer for a football club to have enough financial resources to compete at the top level.
Thirdly Steve in this day and age of credit crunches and top banks collapsing a fan owned club with thousands of ’socios’ would actually be on a sounder financial footing than those clubs who depend on the whims of passing here today and gone tomorrow billionaires. Better to have thousands and thousands of loyal shareholders / members / ‘socios’ than a dodgy fat cat just in it for themselves – surely?
Finally, a fan owned club would elect people to run the club on a day to day basis. The fans would decide the general direction of the club, transfer policy etc. For example Barça are honour bound to try and play open, attractive and attacking football. Why? Because the people who run the club have over 150,000 members overseeing their stewardship. It’s an organic structure which works extremely well. We elect councils and governments in the UK and it seems to work. Why would it not function in a sports club NUFC?
I’m just an ordinary working man but I would be prepared to scrape together GBP 1,000 to have a share of the club I love and I am absolutely sure that I and thousands like me could work together to do a much better job than the present lot!
- John Hird