Alan Shearer has backed Newcastle United fans who have launched a bid to own a slice of their club.
The club’s 15,000 strong supporters trust have taken the bold move of asking fans to pay cash into a special fund which could be used to take a stake alongside a new owner when Mike Ashley sells.
They aim to raise £3m, for a one pc share at the club’s current value and Shearer today tweeted his verdict: “Well done, I’m in.”
However the practicalities of the fund, which will be “guarded” by Gateshead MP Ian Mearns, ex-player Warren Barton, a local journalist and an accountant, have been questioned.
Fans will not get their money back if any bid is unsuccessful, and the proceeds would then be donated to an unspecified North East charity.
Individual donations, whatever the size, will not mean personal shareholdings will be allocated. The Trust itself would hold the stake.
But Trust chair Greg Tomlinson said it was a chance to signal Toon supporters are ready to step up with hard cash to get a say in how United is run.
He said: “We have been driven to this by the club. We have tried everything else.”
Alex Hurst, Trust board member and the driving force behind the 1892 Pledge, said: “Fans have more power than they realise. We deserve a seat at the table in running our football club.
“We can pitch up with some money and get a minority shareholding.
“Supporters must have a say in what happens to NUFC and we believe this campaign will give us a real voice in the running of the club – not just now but for years and decades into the future.
“We’re asking the fans to pledge what they can – ideally on a monthly basis but one-off pledges are absolutely fine, people can dip in and out but the best thing for us is monthly donations. Whether it’s a £1, a five, a tenner, £40, we don’t want people to give us anything they’d miss.
“This is supposed to be an affordable, long-term project. That’s the key for us: it’s long-term.
“It’s not going to be a month, or six months or a week, it’s going to be as long as it takes. If Ashley’s here for another five years, we’ll do it for that long.”