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Thank You Newcastle United

7 years ago

Reading over the latest club statement from NUFC, I struggle to find the words to express my deep, deep gratitude for the club’s efforts [intlink id=”47243″ type=”post”]to keep its fans safe from “disgraceful journalism.”[/intlink]

It has truly warmed my heart to see the great lengths to which it will go to prevent pesky hacks from asking difficult questions and I feel particularly gratified that the Club has demanded an apology on my – indeed all supporters’ – behalves. We have been wronged by this probably erroneous story on Mike Ashley’s intentions with Newcastle United and we deserve restitution.

I hope that the Club goes further in its noble efforts to rid us of the kind of insidious, deceitful reporting that is no doubt aimed at making us, the average fans, question the way our team is run.

Why would we want to do that? What use do we have for rumours and news? Why should we want to read the views of journalists – with their sources and their fact-checking and their editorial policies?

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If we want to know about the Club, we can simply ask the Club and the Club will answer. If it does have anything to tell us, it will surely tell us through its proper and official channels. Mr Luke Edwards and his Telegraph buddies would do well to remember this while they stare desperately through the gates of St James’ Park next matchday.

I do, however, think the work has only just begun and we could be trying even harder with these bloody troublesome reporters. Sure, we’ve already handled the local press; now clearly Fleet Street is part of the conspiracy and it’s totally right we should ban them too. But why stop at the National press?

I was in America last year and Newcastle United –I kid you not – was on CNN. CNN for God’s sake! I’d definitely get on that Mr Ashley. You don’t want the Yanks asking questions. And there’s also a whole load of people on the Internet who have the damned gall to repeat – even speculate – on made-up, good-for-nothing nonsense about NUFC. They should certainly be stopped too.

I suggest starting with Twitter, Mr Ashley – there’s plenty of ill-informed people there who talk about the Club and then still – just like the Telegraph – “expect to receive access to the Club.” The bloody cheek.

I’m sure the Club has thought about how it is going to prevent media intrusion, but I’ve had some ideas of my own. For example, surely technology has advanced enough that we could set up some sort of detectors capable of picking out anybody trying to smuggle a spiral bound notebook or a Dictaphone within fifty metres of the ground?

At the very least we should be able to get the stewards to keep a steely eye out for anybody trying to squeeze through the turnstiles with a quizzical look in their eye. “You look like you’ve got some questions. You’re coming with me, sunshine.” Hell, maybe we just get some good old-fashioned snipers on the Milburn Stand roof and tell them to take out anyone who looks like a non-believer.  Maybe get any media to wear a badge that says ‘Doubts the Truth’ and our sniper boys can treat that like a big, fat target. Job done.

Oh, a final note about that press room I saw on the SJP stadium tour. I reckon you’re missing a trick if you don’t stick some mannequins in there. Dress them up like proper hacks from the 1950s – with some typewriters and those funny little green visor things – and have Alan Pardew take questions from the floor.

He’ll prefer it that way I imagine – he’s not much of a people person anyway and he does have a certain waxwork quality about his face that will make him feel right at home. And as for what he says? Simple – script it beforehand. That way you can check it before he says it. That way only the absolute Truth gets out.

Then we can all be happy.


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