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Chronicle Reveal Just How Embarrassing Ashley’s Behaviour Is

9 years ago

The Chronicle have now taken the step of releasing the full text of the letter that was emailed to them by Newcastle United informing them of the ban on their journalists having access to the manager and players.

The pettiness and small-minded nature of how the club is run is laid bare. The fact that Mike Ashley has insisted that all senior staff sign up to supposedly agreeing with the ban is to me further evidence of the Totalitarian way he runs his club/business. Obviously this should be little surprise when his main SD business employs tens of thousands of people, representing over 90% of his workforce, who are on zero hour contracts with no guarantees of work from week to week and no holiday or sick pay.

Dear Darren (Thwaites – Chronicle Editor),

I write in reference to the above (NUFC made a list of the articles carried by the various newspaper titles) coverage in The Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun regarding the protest march on Saturday 19 October by a small number of Newcastle United fans operating under the campaign name Time4Change.

It’s quite frankly staggering that you devoted 15 full pages, including 2 front page splashes, a back page, 3 double page spreads and remarkable 6 full pages in one (Sept 7) in The Chronicle to a protest march which ultimately was attended  by approximately 300 supporters. Even if the one thousand supporters expected by the organisers had marched your coverage would have been disproportionate. Give the turnout was significantly less than this, in fact only just over a quarter of that anticipated, something your coverage following the march failed to reference or reflect whatsoever, you should be in no doubt as to the strength of feeling that exists within the club in relation to your coverage.

Indeed after reviewing all of the above articles and in particular, the front page headline and large map outlining the route of the march, spread over 2 pages in The Chronicle on October 19 it is our opinion there was an underlying message of encouragement and support provided by your titles in the lead up to the day and on the day itself.

We feel strongly that the turnout of the march renders your extraordinary coverage completely disproportionate. Furthermore it is evident from the scale and prominence you devoted to it that your agenda was the pursuit of sales based on an anti-Newcastle United stance, rather than a fair and balanced approach.

We could never dream of generating this level of coverage, over such an extended timeframe, for some of our positive news such as some of the fantastic work undertaken by our Foundation in the local community which benefits so many or the recent announcement of reciprocal ticket pricing for away fans which received a fraction of the coverage of the march.

Having given due consideration to the above and your response to my email of October 21, the club’s owner, director of football, board of directors and team manager have reached a unanimous decision that the three NCJ Media titles; The Chronicle, The journal and Sunday Sun, will not be permitted access to any media facilities, press conferences and player interviews at Newcastle United indefinitely and with immediate effect.

We do not require a reply to this letter, our position on this issue is not up for negotiation

Yours Sincerely
Wendy Taylor

Head Of Media – Newcastle United

One thing that sticks out for me is that the club/Ashley is so keen to point out how insignificant the march is and the number of people who attended (also, nearly every other report states there were at least 500-600 there, as opposed to the Chronicle’s 300), so surely they should have been more than happy for the Chronicle reporting afterwards how few were there on the march. If the numbers attending were so meaningless then surely punters reading the papers would automatically come to that conclusion?

The reason that little the club/Ashley does seems actually to make any sense, is because little that they do, does make any sense.

Newcastle United is being run on a day to day basis with no long-term strategy and ridiculous bombshells such as this ban dropped from on high, by an owner who doesn’t care and doesn’t have a clue.

What a mess.

Full Chronicle article can be seen here.

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