Fans Forum Success – They Got Exactly What They Asked For

We thought we would reread the open letter sent to Newcastle early last week by members of the Fans Forum –  and given what they asked for in their letter,  the amazing thing is that Newcastle have delivered – although the way they got there was extremely unprofessional as they dithered around for far too long.

Steve McClaren has finally been held accountable for one of the worst records in the Premier League and certainly the worst record of any Newcastle manager over 28 games in the Premier League.

He was fired yesterday morning along with three of his coaching staff – Paul Simpson, Alessandro Schoenmaker and Steve Black.

steve mcclaren bournemouth

Steve McClaren – finally held accountable

Ian Cathro and Simon Stone will stay on as part of Rafa Benitez’ new team on Tyneside and Rafa has already been brought up to date by both coaches yesterday on the Newcastle squad members.

So our hats go off to the Fans Forum members for representing the fans and showing initiative with a measured and professional request to the club early last week, when we were in total crisis.

They got what they asked for – they got actions and not just words.

That´s good for them and good for everybody associated with Newcastle United..

Here is the Open Letter:

With ten Premier League games to go, we find ourselves in what appears to be a ‘3 from 4’ relegation battle.

Fans of our club vented their strong views at St James Park during our defeat by Bournemouth.

These fans have chosen to ‘stick by’ the club and religiously turn up week in, week out despite the horrendous season that we have encountered.

These same fans are frequently tarnished with the view that we all expect to win the Champions League.

What NUFC fans want is a team of eleven players in black and white shirts that understand their role to perform to their maximum – week in, week out.

We have entrusted the board of NUFC to ensure that the right personnel are in place to carry out this basic expectation.

Our current Head Coach, Steve McClaren, has now been responsible for 28 games, during that period:

We have won 6 games – this is our joint worst ever number at this stage, only matched by our relegation season in 2008/09.

We have the second worst goal difference in the PL (only better than Villa) We have scored 28 goals, the worst ever figure in recent history for this stage of the season.

We have kept 1 clean sheet since 6th December 2015. We have the 3rd worst disciplinary record in the PL.

On the 19th September 2015, Steve McClaren said “You are where you deserve to be. That’s where we are. I said judge us after ten games and I would still say the same now. The next two are tough but this is a tough job.”

On the 17th October 2015, Steve McClaren said “I’m not saying judging me after ten, 11, 12 games or whatever. I guess I would say ‘if you’re going to throw things at me, judge me at the end of the season’.”

Whilst we still have 10 games to go, NUFC Fans cannot accept the current work ethic of the players. Someone, somewhere has to be accountable and decisions must be made.

During the recent Fans Forum meeting (22nd February 2016), we asked the club this:

Why is there seemingly no price for failure at NUFC? For a number of years now the club’s own targets have been failed to be met by those tasked with ensuring they do, both at a coaching and boardroom level.

The only person to lose their job at NUFC in the last eight years at these levels was the one man who achieved his target and that was Chris Hughton.

This worrying trend is mirrored in the playing staff, where poor performances by so-called big name players are rewarded by another start for the first team due to a lack of options and depth in certain areas.

How does the club expect to improve when there is seemingly no price or consequence for underachievement?

Lee Charnley replied – “The club believes the squad now has strong options in most positions, enabling changes in team selection to be made where the head coach sees appropriate.”

LC was also confident of Premier League survival at that meeting. Since then, we have lost both of our PL games.

Last year, during our relegation battle, this Fans Forum talked about ‘Actions NOT Words’. That hasn’t changed. Lessons from that battle have quite clearly not been learned.

It is absolutely imperative that the club has its fans ‘on-side’ for the remainder of the season.

We must urge you to review our position and initiate any changes that you see fit to correct the current attitude of the playing staff. Our fans have every right to remind the club what was said last year –

‘We don’t demand a team that wins, we demand a club that tries!’Our players frequently look jaded and our playing style often appears outdated. We lack organisation and the players continue to lack discipline.

During the Fans Forum meeting, Lee Charnley made it clear that we had a flexible approach to our usual transfer policy, which allowed us to sign two key targets.

Maybe its time to accept that the ‘Head Coach’ role simply doesn’t work at NUFC and accept that a Manager is required, a person who will not only coach but motivate and manage!

With substantial increases to TV revenues, players will only become increasingly difficult to manage not easier. Agents seeking lucrative pay-deals for their clients will attempt to dictate further.

This will result in even less club loyalty unless we can grasp the uniqueness of Newcastle United Football Club and move forward together as one.

We want fans that don’t even contemplate giving up on season tickets. We want players that are proud to wear the famous colours. We want a manager that truly wants the best for us.

It’s time for action, its time for accountability.”


14 comments so far

  • hibbitt

    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:18 AM

    Comment #1

    a point at Leicester would make the weekend get us in the mood to take the 3 points of sunderland…………….we now have a chance to stay up we will now see how good these players are its up to them to show there quality and prove they want it

  • ilovetoon8788

    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:22 AM

    Comment #2

    leciester will probably hammer us.
    but at the very least i want to see fight and passion on the field that will set us up nicely for the must-win against the scums.

  • Mag52

    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:37 AM

    Comment #3

    Has Mike Ashley simply bought himself and the board a little time or has he ‘seen the light’ ?
    The answer will be clearer in ten games time.

  • Blofal

    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:39 AM

    Comment #4

    Rafa will set the team up not to lose a Leicester.

    First and foremost he will have the players maintain their shape and structure. Expect anybody who doesn’t to be dragged off the field immediately. This game is about teaching the players his style and maybe… just maybe scrapping a point.

    The big games are the next two against Sunderland and Norwich. They are literally six pointers. Leicester is just a training run.

  • martoon

    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:39 AM

    Comment #5

    Ilovetoon8788 I don’t think they will hammer us. Yes they might win but they don’t hammer many teams and hopefully we’ll show some fight. I just hope Townsend is fit as he could make a difference.

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:40 AM

    Comment #6

    It really is fabulous to see a huge sample of the toon army United at last in yesterday’s outpouring of joy. No matter how much the rest of the football world think it’s an over reaction. Not just a breath of fresh air Rafa, a bloody storm force gale!
    It should not be overlooked what a master stroke the guy pulled howking the players off the sofa and in for training. ‘I’m here, I mean business and you had better get on board.’
    Love him already!
    And that interview was top drawer. The guy exudes class and know how.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    Comment #7

    Sadly I think we will still go down but we will make a fight of it.

    I just think it is two games to late should of gone after the Chelsea game but would we of gone for Benitez then

    And we sadly lack a genuine golascorer

    And our defence is very poor without MBemba – get dragged all over the place.

    BUT – If we go down, I hope Benitez stays and builds ‘his’ team that will come straight back up and be comfortably safe first season.

    Because I think we could be going somewhere with Benitez as long as we keep him and Ashley loosens the purse strings

  • Tinman

    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:53 AM

    Comment #8

    The jealousy in the football world is remarkable! Pundits saying Owen Coyle or Nigel Pearson would have been a better choice. Fans saying he will leave us and fail to keep us up. Such bitter bitter people. Why does everyone hate Newcastle so much?

    He is one of the top 10 managers in the world. Notice how many Liverpool fans are commenting about how brilliant he is. They are probably most qualified to judge him

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:54 AM

    Comment #9

    Not too many choices, admittedly, but the team selection for Monday’s game will be interesting. Wonder if he will start Doumbia?

  • brettsinsa

    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:59 AM

    Comment #10

    Gotta say I am not expecting miracles on Monday night a few days ago I would have put my house on us getting a hiding to be honest, but Rafa will at least set us up with some structure which is something we’ve lacked for ages, A point would be a huge thing for us at present! as long as the effort is there and the guys run their collective asses off we could be ok..

  • Tsunki

    Mar 12, 2016 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #11

    Mag52 – I posted something like that yesterday but had the likes of Jib and mattynufc calling me out for being so ‘usual suspect’.

    it’s great to see that finally a sensible appointment has been made, which shows that someone has decided they haven’t a clue and admit it. Good for them. But while we are all pleased about it, it’s only right to wait and see how it all pans out, this is Ashleys nufc, after all, and we still have Charnley at the helm. I’m hoping they’ve placed themselves in an irretrievably good position. But it is entirely possible we will still go down, Rafa will decline the option to manage us in the championship, and we will get Neil Warnock. We just need to be philosophical about it if it does happen.

  • NoahJ

    Mar 12, 2016 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #12

    hope benitez gives aarons a crack on the left wing. it was the final straw for me to play gouffran ahead of him, having forced him to play left back for the last few weeks.

    come on newcastle, new hope!

  • thevirus

    Mar 12, 2016 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #13

    Still want to see that smug looking bastasrd charnley get the sack though , he’s a disgrace taking the length of time to get things done . Once again this clueless asshole has made our club look bad in the eyes of the footballing world

  • ozzietoon

    Mar 12, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #14

    Right We’ve got our man Ashley to be fair has delivered, he delivered with money 80 million and now a ‘manager’ not coach and a cracking manager at that, so for me the eyes turn to the players, we have seen them play well even under mcclaren so there’s no excuse if they can’t raise there game under Benitez then they don’t deserve the shirt, there’s no one else to blame for next 10 games other than the players if we don’t stay up. We the fans will be behind them giving them the support they need. I see Multiple wins with the fixtures just need belief as our team is better in paper than most teams we’ve got to play including leicester.


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