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a director of football being brought in to work alongside Pardew after lasts years debacle, the choice of Mike’s drinking buddy ‘Mad Joe’ was greeted with disbelief and anger. Six weeks into the job and Joe’s signed no one, embarrassed the whole city with a couple of ludicrous interviews, had a holiday (yup, a bloody holiday!!!) and even had his old mate Mick Harford turn down the chance to work alongside him. Things need to pick up for Joe and they need to pick up drastically, because be under no illusions, if the squad is not sufficiently strengthened by the time the window closes then the shit will well are truly hit the fan both on and off the field. If all this JFK nonsense wasn’t bad enough, then came the potential loss of the clubs one decent striker. Unbelievably the Papiss Cisse/Wonga saga threatened to cause the end of the Senegalese striker’s spell on Tyneside. With the player refusing the wear the Wonga emblazoned shirt on religious grounds both parties were at a stand-off. The funny thing about this whole issue is that Cisse had FROM... 44 43 “ THE  SALE  OF  HARDWORKING,  UTILITY  MAN   PERCH  IS  A  TRANSFER   THAT  IS  GOING  TO   IRRITATE  ME  FOR  YEARS. no issue with Virgin Money as a sponsor, and seemed to have no issue spending time gambling in Aspers! If he’s angling for a move and wants off then it’s better for all parties if he just came out and said it rather than spending the summer hiding behind his supposed moral code and stringing us all along. Regardless of the player’s true motives and desires, the dust does now seem to have settled with Papiss backing down, however this is Newcastle and anything could still happen. If Cisse did end up leaving then we will then need three new forwards just to be competitive. Jesus, at the moment Joe can’t even sign one let alone three! For now all is quiet, but once again another potential shit storm looms at St James. So on the back of all this, will Newcastle go into the new season a stronger unit than they were last? Well, it certainly doesn’t look like it. At the moment we’re three senior players down thanks to the departures of Danny Simpson, Steve Harper and scandalously James Perch. Whilst all three might not have been world beaters, all were reliable, honest, British players who never let the club down and worth far more to the team than their financial value suggests. Like Graeme Souness’ ridiculous sale of Aaron Hughes for £1m in 2005, the sale of hard-working, utility man Perch is a transfer that is going to irritate me for years. So as the new season approaches at an alarming rate, there is little doubt on Tyneside that this summer has been nothing short of a car crash for Newcastle. The only saving grace is that surely it can’t get much worse and that hopefully the striking reinforcements will soon be installed. Hang on, what am I saying, this is Newcastle, and Mike Ashley’s Newcastle at that, of course it can get worse, it usually does!! Sadly, the best we as fans can hope for is that Cisse stays and that a couple of decent forwards are signed to help him out before Mike and Joe lead us all into the next self-inflicted, embarrassing farce of the Ashley era. And people say Newcastle fans are deluded…... NUFC  FANS  UNITED MINUTES  FROM  THE  LABOUR  CLUB,  31ST  JULY  2013 INTRODUCTION  AND   WELCOME Steve Hastie gave a brief introduction, outlining the agenda which all attendees received copies of, before introducing Newcastle United’s Supporter Liaison Officer, Lee Marshall. Lee began by talking about some of the things that have been achieved by the Club working in partnership with Fans United. These include the return of the Gates to St James’ Park and Steve Harper’s 20 Years Charity Match. NEWCASTLE  UNITED   FANS’  FORUM Lee provided information on the Fans Forum recently announced by the club. He stated that much of the format and views have been shaped following meeting and talking to fans and fan groups. The club want to establish a robust structure for the forum so that it will stand up to scrutiny. They have worked to do this by working in consultation with the Football Supporters Federation who have provided feedback and constructive criticism to the club. They have also looked at examples from other clubs where forums are already operating. The forum will contain 15 fans. Three of these will be held permanently by established fans groups, NUFC Fans United, Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) and Newcastle United Disabled Supporters Association (NUSDA). The 12 remaining fan seats are open to all Newcastle United fans to apply and they will represent different segments of the clubs fans base. These will include season ticket holders in the Milburn, East, Gallowgate and Leazes stands, an Away Season Ticket Holder, A Long Distance Travel \