joe robertson backing Newcastle United Scheme
Joe Robertson Media Archive
More backing for United scheme

Millionaire wine bar owner Joe Robertson today pledged £250,000 to John Hall’s bid to launch a shares issue at Newcastle United.

And two other Tyneside businessmen who, like Mr Robertson, are private box holders at St James’s park, also announced their backing for the creator of MetroCentre.

Mr Robertson, whose company City Leisure Holdings own bars such as Maceys, Masters, Berlins and Luckies in the Newcastle city centre, made his pledge after discussions with Mr Hall.

The Evening Chronicle revealed Mr Robertson’s backing of the United share issue proposal on Tuesday and Mr Hall told me today, “Joe has now backed us to the tune of £250,000.”

I am highly delighted with the early response to my stand. It’s just what I needed to allow me to go on and press home the point.

“I’ve now got the backing not only of the top businessmen in the North East, but the ordinary man in the street as well.”

Brian Reed chairman and managing director of Reed Print and Design and Keith Whickham of Silver Screen, are the latest businessmen to come forward with hard cash.

Mr Reed, who has poured £15,000 into the Great North Run over the last four years merely for the privilege of taking part, told me: “I will put in a substantial sum of money.

“I feel it is time for a change. I’m sick at a number of things that are happening at St James’s Park, including the fact that we could be losing Paul Gascoigne and Neil McDonald.

“We have the basis of a good side but the big breakthrough never seems to come.”

Mr Whickham, a top sportsman at canoe slalom and a former British champion, said: “I’m happy to support such a project as this. I’m very enthusiastic about it and can see the chance of success.”

I understand that Mr Hall has already had a meeting with another of his propective backers, Newcastle Breweries and that their interest has hardened.

Tyneside comedian and businessman, Bobby Pattinson has already committed himself to a £250,000 sum like Mr Robertson and Mr Hall himself is putting up £500,000.

Mr Hall still faces a huge fight of course, with United’s shareholders at the centre of the whole thing.

A share issue would not debar United’s current board of directors from taking part. They too, like Mr Hall’s backers and the ordinary fans on the terraces could buy a number of the proposed 500,000 £10 shares.

It would merely mean them investing in the club as well.