Now, they have embarked on phase two of the campaign. On the NUST’s website. It says of the new phase that they are:
“…setting out our plan that will lead to negotiations with our club on a ‘fan led movement’ that will bring about new ownership with as little pain as possible for both sides.”
As a part of this launch of the second phase, NUST Spokesman, Mark Jensen, said in an interview on Friday that this phase would:
“Convince serious figures in the financial community that Newcastle United, run properly, is a viable, long-term investment”.
He then added on the January transfer window:
“It’s clear the appetite for fan involvement in the club is still strong and we see this month as key.
“It’s vital to bring in the right players who can make an impact in the Premiership.”
But surely, the last thing the Newcastle United Supporters Trust would want is for the club to be promoted? This would almost cartainly mean that the NUST would then have to raise MUCH more money than the £100 million they projected for. Unless they have a contigency, their whole plan would have to be reworked to take account of the new reality. That is, if Mike Ashley would agree to sell them the club in the first place, which they still haven’t confirmed. When the club’s Managing Director, Derek Llambias, offered them a meeting to discuss the scheme in November of last year, NUST Chairman, Neil Mitchell, pointedly refused and said of the proposed meeting:
“Deals in smoke-filled rooms will not be part of our negotiations. The idea of the campaign is to bring trust and integrity back to the club and to reflect the values of the city as a whole.”
Meanwhile, as time is rapidly running out on the scheme, there is still no meeting with a high level representative of the club or Mike Ashley, and no business plan, which would be essential before the NUST even start to raise concrete funds to launch some kind of takeover bid. The way things are at the moment, the “serious figures in the financial community” mentioned by Jensen will almost certainly say “Thanks, but no thanks”.