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Page last updated at 07:57 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 08:57 UK

Roberts seeks Magpies fan support

Graham Roberts
Roberts lifted the Uefa Cup during his time at Tottenham

Ex-footballer Graham Roberts has revealed the Fanbase 410 group hoping to take-over Newcastle United want to introduce a fans ownership system.

Roberts, 50, is fronting the consortium and believes a share-issue based on members or 'socis' like Barcelona could be implemented to give fans their say.

"We want to get the fans involved," he told BBC Newcastle's Total Sport.

"They can buy a share, they can pick the chairman, they can pick the manager, they can run the club."

Southampton-born Roberts had an impressive career as a player, representing clubs such as Tottenham and Rangers, as well as earning full England honours.

And along with former Chelsea team-mate David Speedie, Roberts hopes that the supporters at St James' Park will take up the opportunity.

"We don't want to run the football club, we want to put it together, the company that I'm working with will set it all up the football club, but the fans will run the club," he said.

"If they buy into this, and put their money where their mouth is, then they can run the football club.

"You're listening and hearing things, and people say 'we can run the club better', well this is their chance."

Meanwhile Newcastle United managing director Derek Llambias believes it will be intensely difficult for the consortium to access the finances needed to compile a serious takeover bid.

However he wishes the group well, and admitted initial discussions had been promising.

"They met this morning with the board of directors, it was a positive meeting, they're well intentioned, but it was made clear to them that they need proof of funds before we can continue negotiations, and it's a tall order in a short period of time," he said.

"They're way behind, we've got parties that we're more or less at signing stage, so for them it's about getting money in the bank, but banks and money are very tight at the moment.

"Newcastle has an incredible fanbase, probably the best in the world, but it's a tall order, it's a dream."

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