Fans Forum, a view from the stands...
The latest in Newcastle United’s attempts to engage with the fan base in the form of the ‘Fans Forum’ sat at St James Park on the evening of 25th April 2018.
A transcript of the minutes can be found on the NUFC.co.uk website at the link provided below:
For our part, the event is something of a disappointment. Not in the context of its intent or of those who attend it on both sides of the table. But more that the lack of frequency of such interaction being SO scarce that they inevitably descend to a challenging and negative place from the outset.
In a time (with safety secured, record income, and a world class manager) that should be one of optimism and celebration the mood instead seems constantly one pointed questions from those fans in attendance and of robotic defence from the club. This stand-off is borne from a lack of regular communication and cannot be a particularly pleasant environment for anyone.
Of course an environment of regular and meaningful communication would address such issues. With challenging questions being able to be punctuated by the more trivial. Perhaps with relationships built and a the consequential feeling of togetherness grows in such an environment.
Instead the fans cram in every gripe and concern into the time allowed. NUFC always on the defensive.
A clear example is the route of questioning around expansion of the stadium.
A justified question? Of course.
The answer? ‘Not viable’
Really? Based on what?
And this is the issue. There is no real communication or engagement with fans. On this issue, presented with the facts, a balanced case on the cost versus return on investment for the club, and the alternative on maximising the funds available to the manager… well that would at least provide fans with some valid context and insight. Instead we get a ’no’. Just great!
Customer feedback, for what it’s worth, and like anyone at NUFC really cares…’must try harder’. They won’t.
Having read through the minutes I could have saved everyone the bother. Just send me the questions in advance next time guys and gals and I’m pretty confident I could predict 99% of the responses that we get from ‘our’ club.
Fans Forum? ‘Lip service’ more like!
For those who give up their time to undertake this exercise in futility on our behalf, thank you. For those on the other side of the table within NUFC…grow a pair! Easy to say isn’t it. I guess, like those at the Sports Direct stores, you have little choice but to tow the line of a dictator or suffer the consequences. Sad times.