The second fan forum meeting will take place tonight after the first one held in September was quite successful, although the NUST (Newcastle United Supporters Trust) managed to get themselves banned after going against the agreements in place, when they published their minutes before Newcastle had published their formal minutes of the meeting.
Joe Kinnear – will not be present at tonight’s meeting
So they will not be present tonight, but NUFC Fans United will be, and with any luck they will send us a report of how the meeting goes tonight.
It’s clear that Joe Kinnear would like better communications with the fans, but Newcastle – since the first fan forum meeting in September – have banned journalists from the Journal, Chronicle and Sunday Sun to their press facilities, and that’s been in effect since early November – and that’s a long time.
And the official reason for the ban was for their over the top coverage of the Time4Change march (according to Newcastle ) that took place on 19th October, and maybe 250 supporters turned up for that demonstration – basically against owner Mike Ashley.
This is what Kinnear has said about the fans forum:
“The club has pledged to use the forum as its primary means of supporter engagement, tackling the matters which are important in an honest, open and respectful communication process.”
“The group will get together four times each season to discuss all aspects of the club and having met for the first time in September. “
“The feedback from the first meeting was very encouraging. As you would expect there were some very challenging issues which were debated and some very passionate views expressed.”
“The views of supporters are important.” “With everyone at the club and its supporters pulling in the same direction, we should be hugely optimistic about what we can achieve.”
“It is clear that we are far stronger now both on and off the field than we were heading into 2013.”
Lee Marshall is the new Public Relations and Supporter Liaison manager at Newcastle, and this is what he had to say in Saturday’s program for the Cardiff City disaster:
“Direct, open dialogue is vital to maintaining a healthy relationship between the club and its supporters.” “So it is great to see the commitment being made to the Fans Forum from all sides.”
“The inaugural meeting in September produced very candid discussions, which really helped those around the table – and all fans through published minutes – to understand how the club operates and how we can work together to improve it.”
“We are looking forward to building on that on Monday.”
We would hope the bans are lifted on the local journalists, since it’s now been over two months since the ban started – and that’s a long time to be out in the cold – so to speak – especially since it’s now January.
But Joe Kinnear will not be present tonight, and we assume one reason for that is he’s off trying to get some good players brought into the club – which is what his job is – after all.
There should be some good tough honest questions asked, and it will be good to see what the answers are coming from the club.
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