Appeal for fans to buy into Jets

AS football fans across the Hunter wait nervously to hear news on the future of the Newcastle Jets, one supporter has a dream to find a solution.

Toby Mills, 21, is organising a supporters trust that would involve fans buying shares in the club and having a say in how the club is run.

The idea first arose when former owner Con Constantine ran into financial difficulties, but it was put on the backburner when Hunter Sports Group took over.

Mills is hopeful that the passionate fan base of Jets supporters will jump on board.

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Video of the Jets supporters rally on Friday. Reporting and production by Amy Spear

‘‘The key stakeholders in any football club are the fans and we have to ensure that every fan has a say in the future of our club,’’ he said.

Mills has mirrored his model on supporters trusts that have emerged in England for lower league clubs like Exeter City and Brentford.

It is also loosely based around German football’s ownership model, known as the 50+1 rule, whereby 51per cent of a club must be owned by club members.

A 16-page draft of the trust is available for interested fans to view.

‘‘Obviously it takes a lot of money to own an A-League club and we’re fully aware that we are never going to get 51%, but even 10% of the club would still be an important stake,’’ Mills said.

The trust will still rely on outside funding to take the majority share of ownership, but the idea is to give fans some power.

Mills is gathering support through social media and wants to announce a public forum within the next three weeks.

The next step is for members to sign up and the trust to be registered as a not-for-profit organisation.

Mills said interested fans could contact him on his Twitter account @blackmac79 or email powerwiththefans@gmail.com.

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