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Del deals new hand?

Posted on November 12th, 2009 | 75 Comments |

Everyone's favourite MD
Everyone's favourite MD
It’s been report that Derek Llambias, Newcastle United’s ever-popular managing director, has invited the Newcastle United Supporter’s Trust, or NUST as we know them, to a meeting to presumably discuss their intended buyout plans.

It seems apparent that he called for this as soon as the ‘Yes We Can’ campaign was launched, so clearly while others are sceptical about it, the board are taking it seriously enough. As it turns out, the NUST have turned down his request to meet before our game against Preston, and Neil Mitchell spoke on behalf of the NUST to say:

“Any negotiations conducted un behalf of the Yes We Can campaign will be conducted with the full knowledge of our potential investors and the fans in general.

“We see no benefit in meeting with Mr Ashley or his representatives until the campaign has fully got under way.

“The idea of the campaign is to bring trust and integrity back to the club, reflecting the values of the city as a whole.

“It will be conducted in the full glare of publicity I am sure and we want to ensure that our people, including investors and potential investors, know what is going on. Deals in smoke-filled rooms won’t be part of our negotiations.

“Our negotiations will be up-front and we will keep the public informed of any developments at all stages of the process.”

So some cute insinuations about the business conduct of our current board and a clear statement of intent from the NUST. It suggests the NUST are less than impressed that Llambias would not take them seriously back in the day with his non-commital to their own requests for a meet and his public declaration that inferred the fan ownership was a pipe-dream.

So what’s the real story here? A PR pledge from Del Boy to show that they suddenly really care about the supporters? An opportunity to work out just how plausible this campaign really is or an early opporunity to look for partnership and stakeholding by the NUST? As a former casino owner, Llambias know all about good bluffs and he obviously wants to see what kind of hand the NUST has got.

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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75 Responses

  1. Of course it’s a PR stunt – would you expect anything less from them?  I’d like to read the minutes of that meeting if and when it takes place, though.  I’ve a feeling that NUST will surprise Del and Rodney in a good way and hopefully the club will take them a little more seriously.

  2. PR stunt on who’s behalf though? NUTS seem to have put the boot in quite blatantly at the first given opportunity

  3. “I’ve a feeling that NUST will surprise Del and Rodney in a good way and hopefully the club will take them a little more seriously.”

    They certainly haven’t surprised me in a good way so far. Their financial plans are still very vague, and I can’t seem to find them anywhere on the FSA register so far with the details they have supplied on their site.

  4. My automatic response is  do not trust Llambias, proven liar.

    Whether NUST succeed in their efforts or not aside, I know who I would trust more, there are a lot of long standing Newcastle fans working their b**** off attempting to get this off the ground.  Every credit to them, they are prepared to try something rather than just moaning on blogs. 

    I for one wish them well.

  5. we’ll see what happens mags
    I’d probably be prepared to do more if someone else was bankrolling it too….

  6. Worky, you’re no fool and have obviously been a bit closer to the NUST’s plans than some.  If  you feel the plans are vague, yet Llambias et al have decided that NUST are worthy of an audience, then that’s no bad thing.

    NUST have done the right thing in taking a rain check on Llambias’s invitation and that can only strengthen the fans’ negotiating position.

    I wouldn’t worry about not being able to see them on FSA’s register, it’ll do nothng other than provide name address etc etc as confirmation it’s registered.

    In principle, the idea of fan ownership’s an ideal that I believ to be unworkable unless all investors fully understand their roles and scope for intervention.

    I’m thinking out loud here when I refer to the passions aroused of late and that’s when the fans are paying customers, without an investment stake (shareholding) in the club.  Imagine what it’d be like if the board of the trust owned club took decisions which factions of the fans didn’t like!

    Let’s hope that NUST manage to get themselves into a position where its voice is heard and that those voices encourage the club’s owner, whoever they may be, not to take its fans for granted!

  7. It’s probably old news, but I thought I’d look into the Magpie Group fiasco that Sir John Hall set up to try and take over the club and it seems that one of the founders of the NUSC was also part of the Magpie Group.   Now, from memory I always thought that the Magpie Group hostile take over had failed and SJH went his own way and succeeded.  Am I wrong?  Everything on the ever so reliable Wikipedia seems to point to the fact that my memory is as bad as I think it is.  Perhaps someone on here with a better memory will be able to help.

  8. Well it’s all very clever putting the boot in at the first opportunity and taking the moral high ground but…. and it’s a big but, if they do manage to arrange the funds they will have to negotiate with the current incumbunt idiots and most likely sign a non disclosure agreement – starting off on the wrong foot is hardly likely going to put them in a strong negotiating position and Ashley can of course just refuse to talk to them.

    Surely it would be better for NUST to actually start talking to the fat idiot and putting fans views across in a coherent manner, maybe they could get Llamiarse to offer them a non voting seat on the board etc until they sort out finances etc – at least then we’d have a voice for the fans (or at least some of them)

  9. On a less serious note, what happens when the next big falling out comes around?  Who does the protesting if the fans are the ones running the club?  Do we all sit at home indulging in a spot of self flagellation?

  10. lesh says:
    November 12, 2009 at 2:54 pm (Edit)

    “Worky, you’re no fool and have obviously been a bit closer to the NUST’s plans than some. …

    …NUST have done the right thing in taking a rain check on Llambias’s invitation and that can only strengthen the fans’ negotiating position.”

    That’s the point Lesh, I haven’t really because they are so opaque. For a scheme like this, all the real financials of the scheme should be upfront and fully in the public domain before they ask ordinary fans for money, but they aren’t. I know they’re talking about an education process over the next few weeks, but that should have happened before they ask for money upfront.

    Also, as I mentioned to Deb in another comment, they need to hold talks with the club before putting up to £500,000 of fans money on the line in ‘administaration’ costs. They don’t even know if the 10% would be acceptable as ‘proof of funds’ yet.  They claim to be championing the fans, but they are being very irresponsible with the fan’s money.

  11. Micky Toon says:
    November 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    “It’s probably old news, but I thought I’d look into the Magpie Group fiasco that Sir John Hall set up to try and take over the club and it seems that one of the founders of the NUSC was also part of the Magpie Group.”

    That’s very interesting, Micky.

  12. BBM, you’re right about FSA’s site not being in real time, but like Worky, I tried inputting its IP number in the mutual provident type section and got no hit. 

    However, the fact that it appears on Companies House which in this instance, directs one to FSA says that it’s formallly registered and above board as Newcastle United Supporters Society (not Trust).  There’ll be nothing of any real interest to see at this stage.

    Micky@11, who argues with whom is precisley the point I was alluding to.

  13. I meant more about the way they’re planning on doing business, Worky.  I don’t intend to support NUST with the buyout scheme because… well, let’s face it – we’ll run it into the ground without the necessary people in place.  Passion can only take us so far.
     
    I thought NUST were only looking to get onto the board rather than actually buy the club, anyway?

  14. Steve P
    I agree. I don’t think they’re taking the moral high ground at all in refusing to talk to Llambiarse, to me it’s just plain daft positioning.
    If they have such a concrete plan what’s to stop them having an initial
    meeting? They don’t have to disclose much but at least they would be
    sat round a table and have a level of open communication. I thought NUST were supposed to be there for the benefit of the fans? Can’t believe too many fans will think it’s beneficial for NUST to turn down an opportunity to have any kind of dialogue with the MD of the club bearing in mind all the whingeing that’s taken place on the topic.

  15. Worky@13, I agree wholeheartedly about the lack of transparency and education – it appears somewhat back-to-front.

    Worky@14 If memory serves correctly, the Magpie Group was fronted by Malcolm Dix to oust McKeag from the board.

    Worky@18, there’ll be nothing to see on the FSA site other than the fact that NUSS (the Trust) is regisetered and possibly the names of its trustees.

  16. I suppose that this could be construed as the club atill actually being uo for sale, even if it officially isn’t.

    Im very sceptical of this fans ownership business though, we may aswell float back on the stock market!

  17. MIcky@22, if Dix is on the NUST case, he’ll know what he’s up to – he was a real pain to the Mckeag led board back then and mobised some money people such as John Hall.

    Mebbies Llambias has been tipped off about past events and the who’s who of the Trust and thought that a chat with them might be appropriate.

    Could they be gettin the wind up?

  18. “Deals in smoke-filled rooms won’t be part of our negotiations.”

    Very sensible. Difficult to breathe.

  19. BBM an early opporunity to look for partnership and stakeholding by the NUST?.
    I think that could be on the agenda from Ma’s side, but I dont think Nust would be interested in partnering up with Ma. as for me and my £1500 I will wait and see what happens

  20. Lesh
    –he was a real pain to the McKeag led board back then and >mobised<
    some  money people people  such as sir John Hall.
    Fruedian slip ?

  21. Big Dave says:
    November 12, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    “BBM an early opporunity to look for partnership and stakeholding by the NUST?.
    I think that could be on the agenda from Ma’s side,”

    TBH, I think Ashley would probably rather stick a red hot poker up his own anal canal than be in partnership with the NUST, Dave.

  22. My two penneth – they have shown themselves to be imbeciles. DL invites them for a chat – then they choose to snub it?
     
    They have been campaigning for change and for a chance to influence and when they dont (its inevitable) raise the cash they need – they might just find that this slap in the face is remembered.
     
    This group is led by absolute donkeys. My only concerns are (as their stated ones dont stack up) is why wouldnt they meet? Are they scared their half brained (potentially money making) scheme is rumbled?

  23. Neil Mitchell, Nust’s interim chair, today said: “We see no benefit in meeting Mike Ashley or his representatives until the campaign has got fully under way.”

  24. Stardust > This group is led by absolute donkeys.
    Well they should get on well as our owner is a right Donkey.
    Worky > TBH, I think Ashley would probably rather stick a red hot poker up his own anal canal than be in partnership with the NUST, Dave.
    TBH Worky I think Ma would do anything for money

  25. Stardust says:
    November 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    “My two penneth – they have shown themselves to be imbeciles. DL invites them for a chat – then they choose to snub it?”

    Stardust, you should be sticking more than two penn’orth worth of insults on this one. Picking apart specious financial guff (which is all they have offered so far) should be your forte. :-)

  26. Snubbing a meeting with Llambias isn’t a very clever thing to do, this is someone that you will be sitting down negotiating with in the future so to come out with things on their twitter like “We talk on our terms, not theirs” isn’t going to help matters.
     
    It’s hard to say anymore as there isn’t enough details about the business plan, people need to check out how liquid their money will be if they wanted to pull out of the scheme in future, especially your pension which I think people would be daft to put in btw.

  27. How in hell are NUST about to raise the necessary funds @ fifteen hundred an investor in an area that has been in financial decline since de-industrialization.
    An area with lass than one million people and a constant  high level of unemployment, in the middle of the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression.
    Lets get real here folks, this is a pipe dream that will end in disappointment, frustration and recrimination.
    As a tactic to force MA`s hand, it will result in more ill will and possibly a further retrenchment on his part.
    Seems some fans live on another planet, time to wise up folks, the reality is this club is owned lock stock and barrel by MA, like it or not and there`s no change in sight for the foreseeable future.
     

  28. Worky – to be honest Worky – the whole thing is that ludicrous it leaves me incredulous!
     
    I feel heartily sorry for any of the poor fans that get taken in by a romantic gesture – they will simply lose cash – (and the kind of folk who will be investing) cash they cant afford.
     
    I still cant see how they can canvass for investment to ordinary folk – its simply wrong every way you look at it – they were formed in a maelstrom of hate and now look to take advantage of the situation. I see them as overpowered committee men in a social club – they simply can not be trusted.

  29. Funny that Lamearse wants to meet fans group now that they might be serious. Since I don’t trust him as far as I could vomit him, I don’t blame them for wanting to keep their powder dry and well away from him. I think he would just be trying to sound out who are the major money people who might be joining in with the fans’ bid and looking for any way to make life more difficult. Or do we all think that he’s being noble and altruistic and looking to cut a fair deal?
    I can’t believe people are so cynical about the motives or abilities of the group without knowing all the details, more of which will unfold (we are told) over next few weeks.I’m struck by the sensible pace of proceedings – it has been some time since the initial announcement of their vision, suggesting that a fair bit of work has been done in the background. If it had shot off in the space of a few days I would have been more wary of it being half-baked.
    I’m prepared to give them a chance. If it goes ahead SUCCESSFULLY i.e. there is a buy-out and I’m committed to cough up (say) £1500, will it be worth it? Too bloody right, if I can afford it! And if it goes pear-shaped and fails – the legal arrangements seem to be that I would get my £150 deposit back, less 5% admin – costing me £7.50.
    I’m prepared to risk losing £7.50 on a gamble. There are worse scams around e.g being committed to 3 years of season ticket watching a “Premiership” team!

  30. Rangerman
    ‘Snubbing a meeting with Llambias isn’t a very clever thing to do, this is someone that you will be sitting down negotiating with in the future so to come out with things on their twitter like “We talk on our terms, not theirs” isn’t going to help matters.’
    Thanks for posting this from the NUST Twitter site. They become even more ludicrous by the minute coming out with stuff like that. What are they a bunch of union men?
     

  31. Geordie Deb & Workey
    Looking at your recent photographs @ 34#&35# you make a charming couple.
    Just read an article concerning the EPL`s rejection of both Glasgow`s Celtic and Rangers teams in their bid for EPL membership.
    Obviously no present member  or future  member  of  the EPL want`s competition from outsiders with massive potential.
    I believe there was also discussion about a two tier EPL system, with a combined thirty six to forty teams involved.
    Were any of the above to come to fruition, it would be to the detriment of the lower leagues, unfortunately.
    However I like the idea of a two tier EPL with promotion an demotion
    and to chuck in the two big Glasgow clubs would strengthen the league enormously.
    Face it there`s a precedent  already with both Cardiff and Swansea battling it out for a promotion spot in the Championship.
    Having been to games between the two (Celt`s and Ger`s) yeah have to say there`s room for improved behavior on both sides, perhaps a probation period or an agreed system of heavy fines for misbehavior.
    Apart from behavior problems i see the rest as a plus in the overall quality of the EPL ,  with the possibility of the present top four, becoming a top eight to ten.
    Certainly a two tier EPL will result in a more egalitarian system with tv funds being distributed among more teams.
    However it`s certainly affordable with more and more money from tv revenue driving both leagues it could attract more talented players thereby increasing the quality of both divisions.
    Anyone have any thoughts on this ?

  32. this guys will be laughing all the way to the bank there own bank that is ,wonder how much they have creamed already

  33. WORKEY
    Don`t feel bad, either deb or Geordie Factor, inquired if I was as thick as I sounded.
    Have to say,  made me laugh !

  34. Worky
    Now you know that’s not true

    Chuck
    It wasn’t me, must have been Geordie Factor. I enjoy your comments.

  35. I never know with you if it’s what you really think or it’s a wind up LOL
    The more I read about the NUST scheme the more fearful I am for genuine people losing money again due to their love of the club. How many times has the average fan actually benefitted financially from any investment scheme in the club over the years?
    I think the NUST have convinced themselves this will work but don’t think they have a cat in hell’s chance of it being a success. Passion for the club isn’t enough or we would be world beaters.

  36. Batty, get Stardy to get his calculator out. Im sure he will enlighten us with his views on this scheme LOL.
    They’re making me feel really angry to be honest. As soon as you scratch below the surface, it sounds like a load of wishful thinking. The supposed £20m they had a month ago where is it? Where are their plans? They are making a lot of noise, and now they’re in the national press stating their refusal to speak to Llambiarse as they don’t want to do deals in smoke filled rooms and they will only talk on their terms etc etc. Inadvertently they are giving the nation another reason to laugh at us again. Why can’t we just have a normal club and a quiet life?

  37. summerof69 says:
    November 12, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    “looks like celtic and angersarent allowed to join the epl and i have to say im glad”

    Will two English teams will have to suffer to make way for them, eg  two less teams being promoted from the Championship (which may cost Newcastle’s getting back to the Premiership), or will the Premier League be expanded with teams having to play two more games, with european chances being hampered due to the extra workload? Either way, it sounds like a scandalous idea.

    If they really want to play in the English league, they should start at the bottom and work their way up, any other solution would be unfair.

  38. I find it a bit hard to accept that the lads who give the fans grief for their irrational and aggressive behaviour towards the board and their antics are taking a similar sort of stance against NUST. Whether it’s ill-fated and ill-conceived, who knows? But is now the right time to judge them? Shouldn’t they be given more time before we hang them from a great height?

  39. I fear the only spice that Celtic and Rangers would add to the English leagues would be away from the football. It’d all get a bit naughty.

    As for their fans, imagine their away trips? It’d be a canny hike every other weekend.

  40. Bowburn
    Regarding giving the NUST grief – they are the one’s courting publicity and more importantly playing on fans’ loyalty by trying to persuade them to part with a large part of their future financial security by utilising up to 40% of their pension fund, and invest it blindly into a scheme that they seem to be unwilling or unable to provide detail on. For those who have scratched below the surface of the NUST’s  sales pitch we have a duty to point out that this scheme may have it’s flaws. I’m also less than impressed with the stance they are taking on various issues – basic PR in fact and they are making themselves look ridiculous. Would you trust people like that who clearly can’t make sound judgements on basic issues to be among the key people who will want to be elected to offices of power? Each to their own, some people will view them as some kind of hero, I don’t, especially when some vulnerable people who can probably least afford it, will undoubtedly get their fingers burnt.

  41. worky , your spot on –  like you say its the english league – what have these pluckys got to offer us ??? … the answer is not one thing other than a load of drunk skirt wearing  jocks getting pissed and singing daft religious songs.

    ..do you think they would take us in if the rolls were reversed ??….no chance.

  42. Hi bowburn,
    it’s abit sad that they’ve seemingly already adopted a ever so slightly
    shady approach, in not wanting to talk etc.
    Maybe they haven’t sorted everything out yet?
    Which in it’s self is worrying.
    But none of it bodes well, does it?

  43. bowburnmag says:
    November 12, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    “But is now the right time to judge them?”

    Usually, it’s better to thouroughly examine an organisation before they take huge amounts of money, as leaving it until afterwards can often be a mistake. Sometimes people can stagger drukenly into things with boundless optimism, then wake up with a terrible hangover if they don’t check the details first. The whole world has just found that out recently. I certainly wouldn’t hand over any money to them until their financial plans are more open to scrutiny, and they’ve spoken to Mike Ashley or Penfold about it.

  44. deb – nah, you know I wouldn’t want fans risking their retirement funds nor do I like the notion that fan’s passion and loyalty is being milked. I just see it that there doesn’t have to be a major financial risk necessarily to get involved. Those who want to invest heavily could and would so with other ventures. Newcastle is just as likely to make money from the position we’re in? It’s the pregogative of the individuals?

    On the PR thing, yeah the Twitter thing came across a little crassly. But the decision to turn Llambias might be the right one in my opinion. Why does he want to talk all of a sudden? He had opportunities to before and he set the standard by declining their offer.

    They are still clearly in the inception stages of the campaign. Meeting with Llambias would be counter-productive in my opinion.

  45. worky – I think what we’ve got is a very publicly-scrutinised situation by virtue of the fact that they need to find out whether or not the money is there. I think they’re plans may be based on the take-up.

    If there is enough then it’s a full buyout, if not they go to Ashley et al with an offer to contribute for a share of the club.

    So for now they’re keeping their cards close to their chest even though they’re not even sure what cards they have. If that even makes sense?

  46. Disagree WORKEY,
    Yeah I am well aware of the sectarian, racist, problems surrounding both clubs and worry that they will bring it to places like St. James`es.
    However there`s more than one scenario where they could be introduced.
    One is the proposed two tier EPL,  to bring them into the lower tier of say two leagues with  a total of thirty six teams, while a re-arrangement of those teams excluded in the lower divisions would be necessary it by no means has to be exclusionary.
    There will still be the three other divisions, which will naturally result in having fewer teams per league.
    Not much different from the original founding of the EPL, simply adding a lower tier.
    It`s my belief that once they became established and recipients of  tv`s largess they would become regulars in the top tier, therefore strengthening the league, to where it was no longer a division where four teams competed on an annual basis for silverware, but in fact one where any of  eight or ten teams could win the division.
    It`s unfortunate that two  large once competitive teams are withering on the vine of SPL football , simply due to tv revenues.
    I think they would bring both  added competition and strengthen the league, to where we have without doubt the strongest league in the world.
    Plus  if relegated a decent league with more revenue as a fall back, the second tier.
    Yeah for whatever reasons many will disagree but, Arry, M.O`N and others are in favor, so it`s not as if everyone is against it .
     

  47. BBM -NUSC have acted as donkeys since their inception. They rant and rave at the club about a lack of communication – then they open their mouths and they sound like idiots.
     
    The difference is BBM – that they open their mouths and provide evidence (and lack of credibility) NUFC say little and you formed opinions based on in the main – rumour, myth and speculation. I am quite happy with my view thanks.

  48. Thinking about the NUST matter last night, does any bid have to be financed soley by the fans on the street?  I think not for what’s happening now is a loose parallel with 22 years ago.

    What happened then?  Fans were mobilised into a united voice for PR purposes and yet when it came to the crunch, who made the offers tothe then shareholders and then took control of the club?  The big hitters who had the millions to buy it!

    Ok we’re not dealing with shareholders here but an owner who’d be tempted by a good offer.

    Food for thought, that’s all.

    Anybody fa when t

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