I contributed a short piece on here yesterday, talking about Newcastle United’s ‘preferred media partners’ – Sky Sports and The Mirror.

They being the only ones allowed in for Steve McClaren’s unveiling as the new Newcastle Head Coach, getting exclusive access in return for whatever…

I observed that it was amusing to look back at the aftermath of this exclusive access, when Simon Bird of The Mirror told us of club sources informing him that Charlie Austin was a done deal and would be signed mid-June.

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I then mentioned Pete Graves of Sky Sports, somebody I follow on Twitter and who I described as ‘a canny bloke, a Sky Sports presenter and Newcastle fan’.

I then referred fans to a number of messages he’d put out on Twitter, following information he’d been given by Newcastle United:

Wednesday 24 June

“Progress being made (on signings at NUFC).”

Wednesday 24 June

“Understand fans frustration. Officials at Nufc will be frustrated too. But progress made in last few days .”

Friday 26 June

“highly rated targets means they’re competing with others. hence delays. breakthrough’S (plural) next week #nufc.”

Friday 26 June

“(In reply to a fan accusing Pete Graves of putting out propaganda for the club) No mate. Just reporting what I’ve been told. If it’s wrong I’ll be as disappointed as you.”

I then suggested that this ‘duping’ of their media partners by Newcastle United could lead to resentment from Sky Sports and The Mirror.

My article appeared to get a fair bit of coverage elsewhere and Pete Graves himself may have had a look judging by a series of messages he then put up later yesterday on Twitter:

Pete Graves – Saturday 4 July:

“I know #nufc fans are frustrated. And signings are taking a while. Even I appear to be part of some conspiracy to fool everyone.

“I’m just a reporter and #nufc fan who gets occasional nuggets of info and tries to pass them on when I can. Not always 100% accurate.

“I’ll continue to do this. And I’m confident the deals that have been worked on for last month aren’t far away. No agenda. What I’m told.”

We all know that signing players isn’t an exact science, you can’t just decide in an instant and buy one off the shelf.

sky sports

However, with the current squad proven to be so poor last season and desperate for creativity, goalscorers and decent defenders, you have to look at it as a major problem when the squad fly off to America next weekend and there isn’t a single signing as yet.

Those putting a positive (brave) face on it, will hope that a flurry of signings will happen as Pete Graves clearly suggests/hopes/has been told.

Of course we all hope he is right but a bit like my (non-)belief in ghosts, I’ll believe them (ghosts and Charlie Austin, Georginio Wijnaldum etc) when I see them.