The latest episode in Mike Ashley’s dealings with the press have led to condemnation from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Instead of holding an open press conference for the massed ranks of the media to welcome Steve McClaren to the Newcastle United job, instead Ashley allowed in only two preferred media partners behind closed doors.

This ongoing divide and rule police by the club owner has been labelled ‘childish’ by the NUJ, with the club accused of trying to manipulate how they are covered in the media.

According to the NUJ, Mike Ashley’s pattern of behaviour is simply helping to drive Newcastle United ‘further towards irrelevance’.

NUJ official statement below:

NUJ response to Newcastle United’s attempt to deny access to certain reporters and newspapers.

The NUJ’s Newcastle branch said:

“Newcastle United are at it again. Desperately over-sensitive about what people are saying about them, their first reaction is to try to manage and manipulate press coverage – instead of trying to give people some reason to say something more positive about them. Their problem, of course, is the football. If they were a bit better at playing football, their fans might have something more positive to say about them. 

“But then, they have a lot of form for such childish behaviour. Who are they going to speak to next week – and who are they going to blank? Who will they ask to be their new best friends, and who will they turn their backs on?

“They should take care. To turn their backs on the sports reporters is to risk cutting themselves out of the conversation – driving themselves yet further towards irrelevance. “



  • Little Davey

    The plan is to be SO good on the field of play this season, with our top coach and team, that the sports reporters will be falling over each other to ‘pay up’ for their exclusives week in week out.
    How can it fail……….oh wait.

  • LeazesEnder

    The sooner Ashley is out …. the sooner our club can start to find its feet again.

  • Belfast Toon

    The journalists should have closed ranks completely and no one turn up to the press conference, then FCB would have had to invite everyone or no one !!

  • 1957

    Absolutely correct, but it would never happen because journalists are just as mercenary as players, exclusivity and a scoop is their version of a trophy win. You also can’t beat the press for self importance, communication with the press isn’t the reason NUFC will be “driving themselves …towards irrelevance” it’s lack of investment and results on the field.

  • FreshFool

    This statement released by the NUJ doesn’t sound bitter or childish at all….

  • Seventy2

    I wonder how much it would cost to blur out the stadium sponsoring in a press pictures and even on television repeats?
    Is there any contractual obligation to not adapt these images?

  • Seventy2

    Saying something positive (Ha!), announcing they had literally shot themselves in the foot would be great.

  • crediblejustin736

    This press lockout is foolish. I dont get it. Why would you refuce what is pretty much standard publicity, unless of course you’re desperately hoding something

  • Demented_Man

    Spot on from the NUJ.  Newcastle have also set themselves up for some choice press retribution when things go wrong, as they no doubt will.
    Still, Ashley and Charnley won’t be bothered.  Bob Moncur is the one who will be wheeled out to respond.

  • Adelphi

    FreshFool Newspapers have become used to writing what they want with almost zero regard to whether it’s true or not, just backtracking when convenient and often setting the agenda for their readership rather than reporting facts. F*** them!
    Just a shame independent sites like this (or the erstwhile fanzines) which were once a refreshing alternative to the nonsense reported in the press, have become dominated by mostly the same small bunch of narrow minded correspondents churning out the same predictable and repetitive drivel day after day.

  • WallaceWilson

    For those who are unhappy about the quality of the articles on the site you always have the option of writing your own. But it is easier to criticise than contribute….

  • magpiefifer

    Belfast Toon  Agree Belfast,a pity that Mirror Group and Sky don’t have an ounce of integrity for their profession!

  • magpiefifer

    LeazesEnder  Not soon enough Leazes.The man thinks that he can do what he likes,but as with the reaction at Ibrox over his loan,he doesn’t always get his own way! Time to help him out the door – don’t renew season tickets for a start.

  • AB233

    National Union of Journalists, truly a funny collection of words.

  • AB233

    Press vultures who are more than happy to jump all over us and the region if it gets them some clicks now want to show concern for the fans! Having a laugh surely.

  • AB233

    crediblejustin736 surely angering the so-called journalists isn’t the best way to go about ‘desperately hiding something’?

  • snodgrass2

    @magpiefifer @Belfast Toon Sky don’t dance to Ashley’s tune. They own the league lock stock and barrel. Ashley is contracted to their terms.