Newcastle United is introducing new Fan Focus Groups which will give supporters an opportunity to have their say on the club’s operations and future planning.
Part of a wider review of communications, the groups will partly replace the club’s existing Fans Forum, which was introduced in 2013, and will be dedicated to four key areas of the club’s operations – Ticketing, Stadium & Matchday Experience, Community & Foundation and the club’s inclusion equality movement, United As One.
Each of the four groups will have two meetings per season (eight Fan Focus Groups in total per season). They will be attended by the club’s relevant heads of department and may feature representatives from associated organisations.
Who can attend?
There are no strict rules about which supporters can attend – while spaces will be limited, anyone can ask to come along. Ahead of each meeting, supporters will need to register their interest via email and include the feedback and ideas that they would like to raise.
While each Fan Focus Group meeting will typically include around a dozen supporters, this can be flexible and fans will be able to register their interest for as many meetings as they like.
Where space is limited, relevant heads of department will review the emails received. Supporters will then be asked to attend and give their feedback in person, or items will be raised on their behalf and feedback will be offered.
All groups previously involved in the Fans Forum, including Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) and Newcastle United Disabled Supporters Association (NUDSA) will also be welcome to send a representative.
The club will also be continuing to work with groups including United With Pride and anti-discrimination organisations and they will be encouraged to contribute to United As One meetings.
‘You said, we did…’
We want to make it easy for fans to follow what their fellow supporters have raised and how the club is responding.
Once meetings have taken place, feedback will be captured in an online Action Tracker, which will detail the issue raised, the club’s response and if the matter is on-going or concluded.
Club channels will also be utilised to update supporters about major developments.
Fan Focus Group dates
Meetings will begin at St. James’ Park in December, with two meetings taking place for each of the four Fan Focus Groups per season.
The first meetings will be as follows:
- United As One – 6:30pm, 10th December 2019
- Stadium & Matchday Experience – 6:30pm, 11th December 2019
- Community & Foundation – 6:30pm, 16th December 2019
- Ticketing – 6:30pm, 17th December 2019
The second round of meetings will be in March and April 2020.
How to get involved
If you would like to register an interest in attending any of the club’s Fan Focus Groups, please send an introductory email to the relevant address listed below with the subject ‘Fan Focus Groups’.
Tell us about yourself and your experiences as a fan, why your preferred group is important to you and perhaps share your ideas on the club’s operations in your area of interest.
In addition to wider communication through club channels and the media, the club’s managing director, Lee Charnley, has made a commitment to meeting the chairperson of existing democratically elected supporter groups including Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) and Newcastle United Disabled Supporters Association (NUDSA) during the season.
Joe Ayton, NUDSA
These meetings will be an opportunity to listen to independent feedback and work together for the benefit of Newcastle United and its supporters.
Informal in nature, these meetings will not be formally captured in meeting minutes as the Fans Forum has been, but may conclude with a mutually agreed communication where appropriate.
Junior Fans Forum
Newcastle United is looking to introduce its first ever Junior Fans Forum, which will give young supporters the chance to interact and share their views and ideas.
The club is currently exploring options and details will follow at nufc.co.uk.
The club is supporting its fan engagement efforts with a fresh commitment to wider supporter communication, building on recent national and local media interviews with the club’s owner, managing director, head coach, players and staff, as well as matchday programme notes.
Going forward, fans will hear more from across the club through both the wider media and the club’s own channels, including the club’s website, NUFC TV, social media accounts and by direct email.