Getting beat on Wearside was bad enough but Newcastle United have also made the embarrassing decision to ban the local press of Thomson House (Journal, Evening Chronicle, Sunday Sun) from speaking to Alan Pardew after the match.

Newcastle_United_Protest_March_NUFCThe decision was apparently made pre-match and from reports agreed by Joe Kinnear, John Irving, Lee Charnley, the press office and Alan Pardew himself. Or if you want it in shorthand, Mike Ashley.

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This has come about because of the local papers coverage of the Time4Change march, which is quite hilarious in itself because most fans were of the opinion that the local papers were soft if anything in their coverage of the anti-Ashley march. With estimates from the Chronicle of 300 at the march compared to the general 500/600 from most others and up to a thousand from the police view. It also appeared in some photos in the papers that prominence was given to younger fans on the march who were also wearing the new shirts featuring Wonga on the shirts.

This incredibly petty move by the club is indicative of how out of touch they are and how badly they handle anything, as though those in charge haven’t got a clue…and/or possibly having to carry out ridiculous snap decisions made by a remote Mike Ashley.

Obviously the Chronicle/Journal/Sunday Sun were supposed to not mention the march at all, I don’t know which situation comedy/farce to best compare this to.

This is a total disgrace and hopefully will now open the local press’ eyes to the futility of giving the club an easy ride in the hope of speaking to Llambias/Kinnear every six months.

With Joe Kinnear named as one of the ‘decision makers’ in this move, while it is good to see him at last doing something, it does make nonsense of his claim that he is only there to help give Alan Pardew players.

As for Alan Pardew, the fact that he has gone along with this disgraceful decision says a lot about him, if this has been going on behind the scenes then it won’t have done the preparation for this match any good whatsoever.

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  • Mrkgw

    The club are an embarrassment and this latest childish move comes on the back of the woeful decision to change the name of Shearers bar to Nine. Surely this bitter, nasty crop running our club must now be forced out and the march should be the mere start of it all. Ashley, Kinnear and Pardew out. Irving and Charnley can be fired when a new owner comes in.

  • Angrynewcastlefan

    Petty, childish, vindictive, counter productive and embarrassing but not at all surprising. The judgement of Ashley and his cronies/lackeys/employees (delete where applicable) is as woeful as it is consistent. If there is a wrong way to do something they will do their utmost to find it. This just brings the fans and local press together when they have previously been at odds and ensures that the march, which might have been forgotten, gets another round of publicity in the local and national press. Is there no end to the spitefulness and idiocy of Ashley?

    • Adam

      “Ashley and his cronies/lackeys/employees”

      The term you’re looking for is cretinue.

      • Angrynewcastlefan

        You’ve summed them up in a word Adam.

  • Davey drape

    Amazing, I still can’t believe the local paper published the march on the day of the march in the Saturdays chronicle. The march started 11am yet they print the route and info on what is generally accepted as an evening newspaper so why not do it leading up to the Saturday? Basically my point is that it was late n poor journalism so wud had no effect.

  • cjr

    Another example of what Pardew referred to on Goals on Sunday the other week about Ashley doing something against the interests of the club when he doesn’t like something?

    • Adam

      yup, spot on. the toys are out of the pram again.

    • shaun mckenna

      That’s why he`s been clammed up, for talking out of line against MA
      His days are numbered

  • cjr

    Wonder if this will lead to a change of stance from Thomson House. Will they now back the fans against the owners like they did back in 1988?

    • east stand exile

      That would be great, but I won’t hold my breath

    • shaun mckenna

      Nice thought but very much doubt it as they will be crawling up to SJP as we speak

    • Chronicle Comment

      Apparently not, I’m told…

  • cosmo carboni

    This decision beggars belief and shows how arbitrary the decision making process is at NUFC. No PR department with any training of any sort would sanction this move. Just goes to prove once again how abysmally the whole club is managed.

    • Chronicle Comment

      It’s clear from the PR dept’s actions here and elsewhere that they are way out of their depth. Probably Ms Taylor and some work experience kids (cheaper that way).

  • Munich Mag

    The Chronicle have tried there very best to stay on-side with Ashley, even to the extent of being derided by the fans. Unfortunately it didn’t help them much at the end of the day. What a pitiful way to market a football club. I wonder what the EPL and the main sponsors make of it ?

  • Mal

    This is the final straw. These people have to go. What have we become – part of North Korea?

  • east stand exile

    This is good news on an abysmal day. The protesters obviously hurt on some level, or why do this? Surprised to be honest, but it should give everyone momentum to build on the march. Let’s keep pressure building…

  • Alex

    This is EXACTLY what I said would happen – Ashley doesn’t like BAD PUBLICITY and that’s how we’ll eventually get him.

    A few here told me that a march / protest would achieve nothing… and all the time I used the ‘bad publicity’ angle as our main weapon.

    Well, it looks to have worked to this particular extent. As another poster already says, let’s hope Chron and Journal now realise the dross they are dealing with at SJP and throw some weight and newsprint behind the heritage and heartbeat of NUFC, and not pander after Ashley’s mob.

    And, those who still want the ‘status quo’ – has the light come on for you yet?

    • Alexh

      I wonder who voted this down? This could be the first time Ashley’s made a silly decision that could really cost him, usually it’s in the summer or over an international break when a ridiculous announcement is made giving time for the fans to settle down, I pray the chron don’t bottle this and announcing the reason and even confirming the ban is a good start. The pro Ashley squad is going ever quieter

      • Alex

        One of our numpty fans (that JFK mentioned in his opening speech) who has the NUFC memory span of a goldfish, no doubt.

        Or, one of those who think the ‘status quo’ is worth keeping. OMG!!

        Yes, this is another ill-thought out bad move by Ashley – he hasn’t a clue about PR and comms. We have him ruffled (just a bit, not a lot yet), so things will get better if we can keep this pressure up.

        Yes, it really is vital that the local press wake up, see the way THEY are treated by Ashley, and give more support to anti-Ashley case.

        • Peter Kelly

          OK then, what’s your answer? It’s all very well coming on here spouting off about Ashley, Pardew, Kinnear et al, and having a go at those who don’t agree with your opinion, but I’m not reading any viable alternative being put forward. Are you able to buy the club or know someone who is, and will then run it the way you want? Thought not. Until then, or until Ashley sells up the status quo remains the status quo and if you think for one minute that Ashley is going to sell up because the Chron might give him a bit of bad press from now on, you’re kidding yourself. The only way he’ll go is when someone makes him an offer for the club that matches his expectation of the value and until that time you might as well come to peace with it.

          • Alex

            Oh hello! What rubbish.

            Of course, I don’t personally have a viable alternative.

            The alternative that fans can do is to make life uncomfortable for Ashley and the rest. So uncomfortable that he decides (like he did last time) to make real efforts to move the club on and try his luck with some opher unfortunate business.

            Status quo only exists when nothing is done. Every change or action will alter the whole situation. And we can make some small, and growing, changes that will alter things up the line.

            Yes, I know he’ll only go when an offer comes in. But, by getting publicity that things aren’t hunky-dory up here, that news alerts potential agents and buyers around the world. They may look closer at us.

            Further, when things running smoothly, Ashley can sit back and name his price. If the waters get stirred and it becomes a ball-ache for him with constant sniping and criticism, is he going to hold out for the last and final million when an offer comes in? Of course not, he’ll say “Sod it, too much grief, I’ve made stacks from this already, I’ll take that and go and screw something else”.

            That’s business. You have to create the trading environment work, then the whole business scenario changes with it.

          • Peter Kelly

            I see, so you’re idea is to agitate and bully Ashley out of the club? I can see immediately that a club whose owner has been forced out by the supporters in such a way would be an immediately appealling proposition to any multi billionaires out there with an interest in purchasing a football club. They’ll be queuing up around the ground to stump up his asking price.
            Get real, man, your ‘business plan’ makes it harder for him to sell the club, even if he wants to, no-one in their right mind is going to want to buy a club with that level of threat and baggage hanging over it. Cheaper and less bothersome clubs are available.
            The other thing is that you’re automatically assuming that any new owner is going to be better than Ashley of which there is no guarantee, especially as they will more than likely be buying it as a business on the premise that they will make money. Chelsea ticket prices here we come, yippee!

          • Alex

            Again, you’re wrong.

            We want someone in to run it as a football club, not as a merchandising outlet for a clothes store. Clearly, we are the ONLY club who isn’t actually being run as a ‘football club’, so I’ve every confidence that those potential multi-billionaires out there you refer to are more interested in the sporting aspect than that of retail clothing / goods.

            Of course, you’re right in that if anyone with the same type of useless business plan, in the same vein as Ashley, want it, then they’ll get the same treatment. I’d actually want us to put that type of investor off cos we don’t that people like that running Newcastle United. But, action will attract the right type of owner who wants to concentrate on the football and trophy side of things.

            Finally, yes, I am assuming that anyone will be better than ashley. Jeez, it is simply impossible for them to be worse than what this man has done to NUFC. What I am not is frightened to change because of the unknown – if the world was frightened to chance their arm at new things, we’d all be still working in fields. You have to look on the positive side and believe that change will work. Or be negative, and keep the status quo due to not having the guts to just ‘try’.

            As for Chelsea ticket prices, that won’t happen up here. So, silly comparison, and a better one would be comparisons with other northern big clubs like Man Ure, Man City and Liverpool.

            As for the world wide exposure, income generation, and challenging for trophies that Chelsea have, then I’d take that any day. Remember, that is what we were in the not too distant past. Chelsea were well behind us, but through massively increasing profile, they’ve achieved success on the pitch.

            And, if my wishes to see NUFC at the top again, don’t meet with the wishes of others, then I’ll give up now as we’ll deserve to be where we are now and also where we’re going very quickly – nowhere.

          • Peter Kelly

            As a business plan, I seriously doubt that MA’s plan is useless, far from it, and that is the problem. Your wish to see the club ran as a football club rather than a business is out of kilter with the way many football clubs are run these days and football is no better for it. Your preferred investor is far harder to find than the money oriented business men like Ashley who will run the club to make money for themselves. And yes, it is entirely plausible that a new owner would be worse than Ashley, they would probably communicate with supporters which would be better but it is no guarantee that they would care any more than Ashley does or not see the club as a bigger cash cow than Ashley does, and if you think that Chelsea ticket prices are not possible up here, you may be right but it’s an additional revenue stream that Ashley so far has failed to mine, a new owner might try that one on, even a benefactorial owner along the lines of the type you want. Success comes at a cost.
            You seem to forget that Chelsea’s rise was almost entirely down to having been, like Man City, bankrolled by an owner with money to burn, hence the ridiculous amounts spent on players getting them to where they are, if you’re asking for that then the pot of potential owners you crave diminshes even further.
            We all want the same thing for the club, but we all need to be realistic in our ambition, your ambition to get rid of Ashley and replace him with an Abramovich type owner is a nice idea with an unrealistic likelihood of being achieved. If you manage to hound Ashley out as you want to, he’ll sell it to whoever comes up with the cash first, and will not give a toss about what they do with the club, and why would he?

          • Alex

            Still wrong on a number of points, especially about the sugar-daddy one. With FFP, that’s just not allowable anymore. But, with proper corporate-like management, it is still possible.

            However, however, you really hit the nail on the head in your last paragraph……

            “If you manage to hound Ashley out as you want to, he’ll sell it to whoever comes up with the cash first, ……”

            EXACTLY, he’ll be sick of this criticism and will sell up to whoever comes closest to his price.

            That’s all I’m going to say to you – it’s been quite hard, actually.

            If you want to see the strength on ongoing feeling, then just look at the Chronicle website, and read the posts about disatisfaction in the aftermath of the press gagging. Hope that convinces you to do something, rather than remain passive.

    • Tom Pitt

      I was one of those of the opinion that the march would have no affect on Ashley.
      Im delighted to be proven wrong!
      Well done to all at Time4Change! Keep it going,dont lose momentum,Im sure I am not the only one converted to the cause by this petty [email protected] from Ashley.
      Oh and to those at Thomson House: Youve toadied up to Ashley for 6 years,where has it got you? Find someone at the papers who can actually perform investigative journalism and get them stuck into Ashley and the way the finances are being run at NUFC. Im of the opinion that there are lots to be found!

  • jimty

    You know, I have watched.the protests and have spoken against them, but no longer. A free press is the foundation of our country we have a right to hear both sides of every story. The premier league should act to stop all clubs doing this. Anyway I am off to work, but I will March at the next protest or whatever it is. Free press to report what it wants without fear or favour.

    • Alexh

      Welcome aboard. It’s basically blackmail from nufc as they know the chronicle needs these stories and to report on the club to survive as a regional paper

      • shaun mckenna

        We might get no more shyte out of lee ryder
        happy days

    • Alex

      Welcome from me, too.

      Standing and observing, in the hope that things may change, won’t work.

      We have to be involved and be active more. This is simple and isn’t awkward for fan participation, so let’s get momentum, and ’embarrass’ this lot out of Newcastle.

  • Geordie4Life

    Nothing surprises me with this bunch (well, ashley mainly!)
    We’ve already seen that he reacts badly to any form of criticism – spoilt brat mentality!
    I’m quite pleased that they’ve taken the decision to bad the local media for a couple of reasons really.
    Firstly – they may now wake up and realise that they don’t have to lie in bed with MA and his regime to survive! I for one would far rather support the chronicle both in terms of reading online and also buying a copy if they are speaking the truth and reflecting what us fans all know!
    Secondly we now wont have to listen to the garbage spouted by AP or the rubbish that Steven Taylor comes out with a few days before a big game where he proceeds to tell us all what he/the team are going to to do chelsea/liverpool/arsenal et al.
    Now if any supporters are / were ever in any doubt about the severity of the state of the club or the fact we have been taken for the MUGS that we are they won’t be now!!
    Stop going to the games – if you have prepaid then i understand and i’d probably go as well – but the cups are NOT a priority to the club, they have told us so much so why spend money going? keep your 20 quid in your pocket, watch it on sky! Dont pay him any more than we need to.
    He must be laughing so much at us daft geordies who suppport their team thick and thin – he doesn’t care what happens as long as us mugs keep turning up and spending our money.
    i’ve always been an ardent fan and never really criticised those who sit on the “nufc til i die” and “support the team whatever happens” but i must admit every time i hear such an utterance at the moment it just makes me want to shake my head
    It’s EXACTLY what MA wants – he wants people to thinkact like this, to keep spending whilst he extracts the hard earned cash from die hards.
    if i was him i’d be laughing my stotts off – he’s sacked manager after manager, backed none of them properly, took the michael out of all of us, given us AP and JFK, retained all the income the club has received over the summer and yet he’ll still read/hear the die hards giving in the “i’m not staying away” – he must think he’s dealing with drug addicts – the drug being NUFC.

    • Alex

      Brilliant post!!

    • jimty

      This is a good post, and yes I am a season ticket holder who goes to all the home games I have stopped purchasing merchandise from the club no more programs and I don’t place my bet in the ground nor do I buy food/drink any more. Problem I have is I love the club, and to not go would not be me. That said I will now think long and hard about attending cup games. I hate the fact that it has come to this, fans divided, press banned and the fact that the game and the team we support will have to run out without us fans is terrible. I don’t know what effect we can have, what I do know is that I can no longer do nothing

      • Geordie4Life

        Totally understand where you are coming from my friend! I also love the club but sometimes tough love is necessary!

        On your point re the team running out without us fans – i dont recall them thinking too much of us when only a couple applauded the Newcastle fans after the final whistle down the road!

        Also – my point about steven taylor and his pregame ramblings… Now that he cannot speak to the chronicle i see he has turned to sky sports instead!

  • Markaccus

    I have no sympathy for anything that happens to the media. 18 pages is well over the top. Newspapers have a responsibilty to give a balanced oppinion, not to inflame the general public over something that is already touchy. I dont think Ashley is fit to run NUFC, but the press were irresponsible in this case. It is unfortunate that the club to stand up to them is the club with its own moral issues, but imho it is a fair action.