Mike Ashley’s decision to let the Chronicle back into St. James’ Park was widely welcomed.

Having the main local newspaper group denied official access to the club, manager and players was surely doing nobody any good.

mike ashleyThe return of the NCJ Media journalists was almost by the back door, clearly the agreement was to have no fanfare announcing the move and so the likes of Mark Douglas, Lee Ryder and Neil Cameron returned for the Chelsea home match at the beginning of December with no publicity from either side.

Despite protestations to the contrary, the coverage by the Chronicle/Journal and Sunday Sun was always going to change after the ban was lifted. Though I think most of us have been surprised by just how far the other way the coverage has gone, with ‘positive spin’ the order of the day.

(To feature like Dean, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])

Exactly what deal with the devil the local Trinity Mirror people had to make with Mike Ashley, we’ll never know.

This isn’t to say that every single piece written by the various journalists is saying that everything is great at the club now, but it is obvious that the underlying feel is far more positive than it should be, while I believe it is also clear that certain themes have been ‘encouraged’ by Newcastle United and inspired by their PR guru Keith Bishop, then repeated until many people are taken in by the spin.

The local press is important for many reasons and no doubt Keith Bishop will have made sure Ashley was very much up to speed on this. As well as the obvious local coverage going out to local people, much of the national coverage of our club comes from the nationals picking up on the stories/themes that are running in the local press, especially the Chronicle.

Having a more sympathetic local press available to help manage the shambles at the football club is a no-brainer, no wonder they lifted the ban.

The original impetus for the ban wasn’t so much what was reported locally in terms of the protests and the imagery, more the fact that it then got a big shout nationally/internationally and embarrassed Mike Ashley, with the potential damage it could cause to his business empire.

The Newcastle United owner keeps his cards close to his chest and obviously rewards those close to him in his inner circle that he relies on, as well as making sure there is no chance of kiss and tell afterwards. So all we can do is rely on what we see with our own eyes and make our own judgements.

I don’t know about you but I think it is a bit of a ‘coincidence’ that the Chronicle and the other titles were allowed back in only three weeks before Alan Pardew walked, or in my opinion, was allowed to leave at last by Ashley.

The main local press allowed in only weeks before this ridiculous period where United are in limbo/chaos without a manager for a month now and we are being told that what is happening is ‘sensible’ by the Chronicle amongst others.

The Chronicle allowed back in only weeks before a January transfer window opens where there is clearly no intention to buy anybody and potentially sell a star player yet again.

Allowed back in only a month or two before the club is expected to announce profits of potentially £50m-£60m for last season, when not a single player was bought.

The recent Lee Charnley interview with the Chronicle was laughable in terms of the message put out by the club, yet any criticism of it since has been minimal in the local press.

Call me paranoid but no manager, no signings, a club on the slide and massive profits, I wonder what the Chronicle would have said if still banned?

  • amacdee

    Yknaa what Deano, I used to give a toss but now I’m just not bothered any more. Those cup exploits by Bradford, Boro and, dare I say it, Palace are what football is all about. The buzz, the atmosphere, the community spirit that flows through the City and makes Geordies puff their chests out with pride are long gone. We’ll never experience those highs again, not while the Fatman is in charge.
    Although I blame him, Penfold and the spin team for making this club what it is today, what I have no stomach for is the 48-49k of sheep who claim they’re supporters yet wouldnt know a great day out at  football if it came up and smacked them over the head while whistling the MOTD theme.
    Supporters can make or break a club yet these muppets cant see how much they’re breaking this once proud club down season by season.

  • RexN

    Some of us campaigned, both through web sites and behind the scenes, to get the Holy Trinity (named after Ryder, Douglas and Cameron?) back into press sessions.

    Sadly, the bar stewards have repaid that support with a huge kick in the nuts.

    In latest news, Douglas is calling for reinstatement of free pies. After seeing his enthusiasm for Bradford is so much greater than Newcastle United this weekend, for once I support Ashley over something – keep them on a diet. They are used to feeding off scraps and turning it into faeces on the page.

  • MalcolmHipkin

    Did they have to submit the questions prior the this Love in, if so did the club answer them or refused too.

  • RexN

    MalcolmHipkin Not at all.
    They were told what to ask.

  • vin1892

    Ashley has nearly everybody exactly where he wants them. He’s won it’s as simple as that. I won’t ever go back to SJP and neither will my son. I just couldn’t bear to sit among the current incumbents of SJP. The club is dead and 50,000 have helped it happen. Last one out turn the lights off. R.I.P.

  • Phildene

    amacdee -this exactly our sentiments too. We both wonder just why these so called fans who turned week in, week out to watch dross knowing full well they’re playing straight into fat mans grubby pocket and yet the sheep still insist on going…..we get told that they support the team-does the team support them by playing well? I think not as they’re as fed as we are.

    Our so called supporters are helping bring our FOOTBALL club down to gutter level by simply going.

  • toonterrier

    Just read that Ashley is in the process of buying Evans Cycles for £100 million. There’s no spokes without tyres. How many new good players could that amount buy. Would double his money in two seasons when he sells them on.

  • A lex

    And what’s more, they don’t know how to support. They don’t know any songs. There’s no originality. They dont have any fight. That’s why the place is a library these days.

  • mrkgw

    Both Charnley and Ashley are dreadful for the club. Force them out!

  • toontom68

    A lex Very true. It seems to me that the current crowds are 50% old guard who only go out of mis-placed duty or habit and 50% day-trippers. Not good for atmosphere but about all that MANUFC deserve.

  • hettonmag

    Andy Dunn  in todays sunday mirror  summed up Chumleys  interview with the Chron  perfectly when he said it was depressing  reading for the fans of  NUFC. It was a good read  from  Dunn, and maybe just maybe the press from outside the region are beginning to see our side of the despicable way Ashley   is treating  our club.

  • ash1001

    The ‘FansForum’ requested that the ban be lifted at every meeting and the reply from Lee Charnley was always the  same “ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN”, surprise surprise it has happened, wonder why and by whom, maybe to Lord Above (MA) intervened.

  • Gordonthetoony

    Good article/video with Shaun Custer on Sky TV saying how Ashley & Charnley are ” sucking the life out of Newcastle ”
    http://www1.skysports.com/watch/tv-shows/sunday-supplement/news/9660707/the-soul-is-being-sucked-out-of-newcastle-united-says-shaun-custis

  • LeazesEnder

    The club haven’t laid on the sandwiches and beverages for the journalists…apparently!  Shocking you don’t get much from this ‘Media Partnership’ deal…. just a tickle on the tum …roll over…theres a good boy…woof!

  • Shotley Mag

    amacdee So you’re not bothered? Then why bother wasting your time
    and ours by coming on to tell us. If you’re not bothered; don’t give a toss and
    no longer have any pride in the team then bye bye. I will not be lectured by
    someone who claims I am a muppet, a sheep and wouldn’t know a great day out at
    a football match. If you know what a great day out at a football match is then
    you must surely understand why people continue to go. It is a love affair that
    will never die and the longer that you have been supporting, the greater that
    love is. 
    You probably don’t understand or give credit to those people
    who support a team against all odds but still stick with them. Are supporters
    of Brentford muppets because they could easily jump on a bus and watch Chelsea
    or Arsenal? Why did people stay supporting Notts County when Notts Forest was
    winning the European Cup? Their two grounds are the closest professional
    football stadiums in England (you probably didn’t know that). Do you
    not have any admiration for the supporters of Espanyol – they are located in
    Barcelona but still support their team. That’s loyalty. That’s love. 
    Yes Ashley has been a disaster for the club and I pray that
    things improve. He will eventually f**k off and plague some other team. I
    know you are frustrated but don’t insult those who have a much greater knowledge
    and loyalty than you.

  • amacdee

    I dont describe you as a muppet for supporting NUFC however I do believe you’re helping to sustain the Fatman’s grip on this club while blatantly displaying indifference to supporters like you who havent the courage to give up for a while and smoke the bastad out. 
    So you’ll keep supporting by attending matches, maybe buying merchandise or refreshments which all go to help keep the Fatman happy. I will support the team from afar knowing that the Fatman’s departure wont come anytime soon while you and your kind keep sucking up to him. 
    Simply put if you and the rest didnt go then Fatman would have to do something. As it is, he’s laughing at you.