What is Newcastle United's Fans Forum?
The Fans Forum is a body consisting of supporters and senior club officials which meets four times a year to discuss all areas which affect those who follow the club.
It has been reintroduced to enhance communication between fans and the club, enabling fans to give those who make decisions and implement services a fuller understanding of their views and the issues which affect them.
The result is constructive dialogue between those who are passionate about the success of Newcastle United.
What does the Fans Forum look like?
There are 14 forum seats occupied by supporters; each representing a broad group of the club's diverse fan base, with 12 individual supporters and two fan group representatives.
This is to enable as wide a spectrum of support as possible to contact a forum member with individual circumstances similar to themselves, via nufc.co.uk/fans, giving everyone the ability to raise agenda points and to read the result when forum minutes are posted online.
The club's main sponsor will also have a seat on the forum, which will be used to plan and review fan engagement activities.
Length of occupancy
|NUFC Fans United||Awarded to NUFC Fans United||Permanent|
|Disabled Supporters Association||Awarded to NUDSA||Permanent|
|Supporters Clubs||Secretary of any supporters club (minimum 20 members)||Two years|
|Young persons rep (U21)||Must be 18-21 or under and a member or season ticket holder||Two years|
|Over-65s||Must be 65 or over and a season ticket holder at SJP||Two years|
|Milburn STH||Must be a season ticket holder (over 18) in the Milburn Stand||One year|
|Leazes STH||Must be a season ticket holder (over 18) in the Leazes Stand||One year|
|East Stand STH||Must be a season ticket holder (over 18) in the East Stand||One year|
|Gallowgate STH||Must be a season ticket holder (over 18) in the Gallowgate Stand||One year|
|Long-distance traveller||A match-goer who travels more than 50 miles to SJP and attends at least five home games per season||Two years|
|Away STH||Must be an 'away' season ticket holder||One year|
|B&W Member (non-STH)||Any non-STH member||One year|
|Equality representative||n/a||Two years|
|Corporate member||Any corporate seasonal member||Two years|
|Lee Charnley||Club secretary, director|
|John Irving||Finance director|
|Steve Storey||Headof safety and security|
|Stephen Tickle||Ticket office manager|
|Wendy Taylor||Head of media|
|Lee Marshall||PR and supporter liason manager|
|Kate Bradley||Head of Newcastle United Foundation|
|Wonga representatives||Awarded to main sponsor|
The heads of other individual club departments will also be encouraged to attend meetings which are relevant to them, while commercial partners may also attend.
How are seats allocated?
There are two groups which are guaranteed representation: NUFC Fans United (an independent coalition which aims to unite supporters' voices) and the Newcastle United Disabled Supporters Association (NUDSA), a democratically-elected group which has been affiliated to the club since 1998.
There are 12 individual seats open to fans, with the final representative for each seat drawn at random from all relevant applicants.
Fans can apply for any of the 12 seats but must fit within stipulated criteria (i.e. Milburn Stand STH must have a season ticket for that stand throughout their tenure). This is to ensure there is fair representation for as many supporters as possible and to negate any overlap.
Why are representatives drawn - not selected or voted for?
To ensure the Fans Forum at Newcastle United is as fair as possible, we have examined the models of a number of professional clubs across Europe and have consulted fans, supporters groups and the Football Supporters Federation.
We believe a draw is the fairest method of selection for an inaugural forum. Other clubs have faced criticism for selecting or shortlisting representatives who fit in with their own agenda, with the mechanics of written, voted-for applications at others also leading to perceived popularity contests.
We believe that you don't have to be able to justify your support in eloquent terms to sit on our forum. Providing you can commit to attending all Forum meetings and agree to the terms of our Members Guide, we believe you should have the same entitlement to a place as anyone else.
How long can each representative stay on the Forum?
Each appointed representative will have a fixed term of two seasons on the Fans Forum and cannot sit for consecutive terms.
In the first year only (2013-14), six members will be replaced after one season. The Forum will subsequently lose six members alternately each season. This is to ensure there is continuity, which may otherwise be lost if all 12 applied-for positions were replaced at the same time. The six vacant positions will be advertised at the end of each season.
Can Forum members be replaced before two years are up?
Yes. To ensure the integrity of the Fans Forum, the club can choose to reallocate a seat if a representative is not adequately fulfilling their responsibilities as outlined in the below Members Guide.
Should the club deem it necessary to replace a member, a meeting will take place between the club officials who sit on the forum and another representative will be drawn at random.
To ensure continuity, members will automatically be replaced if they miss more than one meeting per season or if they no longer satisfy the originally specified criteria (e.g. a season ticket holder who does not renew in their second season of tenure). The replacement member will retain their place only for the remainder of that seat's original tenure.
Any member who is in breach of ground regulations or who is ejected or banned from the stadium will also be automatically replaced.
What won't the forum do?
The forum will not be used for discussing team-related matters such as tactics and contracts.
While the forum will be polled on fan engagement issues, the club will - where feasible - seek wider supporter consultation on major issues and changes.
How do fans raise agenda points, share ideas or give feedback?
Fans can contact Forum members by clicking here and selecting the member of the forum who best represents their circumstances or requirements.
Because positions on the Fans Forum are voluntary, the club's Supporter Liaison Manager will receive, sort and disseminate these messages to relevant members and will contact members to discuss appropriate action. If the question is operational (e.g. 'when do tickets for the next away game go on sale?'), the club will respond quickly in order to maintain service standards. Fans Forum members receive all messages marked for their attention in full, as well any relevant club responses, and can choose to either respond via the club or directly if they wish to. All responses issued from members via the club are sent unedited and do not necessarily reflect the club's views.
How do fans find out the results of questions for the Forum?
If immediate action is required, the club will contact the supporter directly and will provide a response to the enquiry.
If it is agreed that your feedback should be raised as an agenda point for the benefit of all supporters, the minutes of each forum will be accessible shortly after each and every meeting here.