Some of you will remember the scene in the Monty Python film that asks what the Romans ever did for us. It results in a huge list of really important benefits they brought to the lot of the average person back in the day. It was funny but serves to remind us that sometimes people we don’t always want to give credit to can really help change things. Well, at the Trust we have been meeting with a number of our politicians in the region, local and national, and what we’re finding are some great allies in our quest to improve the lot of the average football fan. Not only are they Newcastle United fans but they are passionate about the idea that our football club is an integral part of the local community and, despite how the current regime operate, there needs to be closer links with fans and the local community representatives.
We have arranged our next public meeting with the theme “Political Football” for Saturday 20th September at 12.00 noon in the Mining Institute, Neville Hall, opposite the Union Rooms in Newcastle. The meeting will last about an hour and a half so there’s plenty of time for a pint before you head off to the game against Hull City.
Ian Mearns, MP for Gateshead and Mary Glindon, MP for North Tyneside have agreed to address the meeting. We will also have Kevin Miles, Chief Executive of the Football Supporters Federation and Kevin Rye from Supporters Direct to update us on what is happening nationally to improve supporter engagement and football governance generally.
Whilst Newcastle United is our particular interest, there is also a wider agenda. Football generally has been described by senior politicians at Westminster as operating with the worst example of governance of any national sport.
At the Trust we believe that football supporters are vital to improving how football is governed and yet we are almost universally excluded from executive bodies of national associations , leagues and clubs and we are rarely consulted about major issues that affect our sport.
NUST is looking for our local and regional Members of Parliament to actively support improved supporter engagement and request that they promote its inclusion as a manifesto commitment in the forthcoming General Election.
Come along to the meeting on 20th September and let our Members of Parliament know what you think about how football should be run in this country.
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