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On Trial- Journalists Making Up Stories About Newcastle United

9 years ago

As a favourite reviewer of mine often says, “I wholeheartedly support the right to free speech – it’s just the practising of it that ticks me off”. Or something like that.

Why isn’t more done to bring journalists to task when they fabricate stories rather than basing them on any element of fact?

What has got me onto this particular little high horse today?

Yet another newspaper article, or tissue, as I prefer to call them, claiming that our Muslim players are again objecting to ‘Wearing the Wonga’.

We are all aware that there is a certain degree of criticism currently levelled at the club, the owner , and, in fact anyone working at the toon, over the acceptance of Wonga as a shirt sponsor.

Personally I have no problem with them. They fill a niche providing short loans to people that the bigger and more reputable banks may consider high risk, and they charge a little extra for taking ownership of that risk.

I’m not a big fan of protecting people from themselves, whether they want it or not, so let’s not go down that particular “but they are taking advantage of…..” street.

My only point here is that I personally believe that the fuss over the ‘Muslim players and the sponsor’ issue is nothing to do with the players at all. It’s just another story hyped beyond all proportion to give local journalists and Ashley haters something more to whine on about.

So why would a Muslim player refuse to Wear a Wonga? The answer we hear is because interest is considered “’Haram’ in Islam. Islam forbids the charging of interest and the benefitting from it.

Well we’d better roll out the time machine because of all the Muslim players on our books at the time every one of them took to the field wearing Virgin Money, and before that Northern Rock. I appreciate Northern Rock didn’t do a very good job of it, but they still charged interest.

Not sure how many offended players we had back then but can you imagine the uproar when we had Brown Ale on the shirts?

So wouldn’t that suggest that it’s not the principle of interest that is the problem here, more the amount, and as Islam doesn’t actually list acceptable percentages (I know these things, living in the Middle East) wouldn’t that then suggest that it’s just some whinging hack trying to sell papers and kick up a bit of anti-Ashley sentiment?

We have a million other reasons for not liking him but let’s not make ourselves look silly by just making things up.

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