Remember when we could rely on the local press to excite and inspire us?
Now it feels that they are just part of the car crash of a PR machine which is Newcastle United.
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Don’t get me wrong, the world has changed and we are looking for stories by the minute rather than the day, so it is a much harder job for them but still…
As seems to be the regular theme of the summer, I am harking back to the Keegan days when I could believe every story that was printed because we battled it out with everyone.
Remember when Keegan joked that Baggio might sign? I think it was only half in jest.
In fact I was so reliant on the local press that I think I still have every Pink from that Division One winning season in my mother’s loft!
Why am I going on about this?
Well some of my greatest memories are driven by the ‘exclusives’ that were broken either in the Chronicle or Sunday Sun. These will never happen again. The youth of today will never get excited to run out of the school gates at lunchtime to spend some of their dinner money on the Chronicle to discover a new signing.
I remember being told by a mate that his brother had seen money transferred into Newcastle’s account (he was a clerk in a bank) and that we’d find out that day we were going to sign someone for £6m.
It didn’t happen, there was no social media chatter, no Sky Sports coverage, he was mocked.
There were only two sources of news and the bloke in the street needed to be backed up by the Chronicle for us ever to be sure.
A day later Sir Les was unveiled. It was exciting and we only found out because that trusted source of news told us – I’m pretty sure a lad in the year above came running into the playground waving a paper above his head.
No idea whether my mate had made up the story and it was just a lucky coincidence, but looking back on how things were so simple 20 years ago is scary.
What is more scary, is that back then when we relied on people at the club telling their mate, or bank clerks checking the accounts and local journalists actually knowing what was going on, we were in a far better place.
Now we should have full access to players, agents and the club through social media (remember Twitter is only 9 years old) and a much greater range of news sources, but no, we are clueless.
The local press were important in generating the buzz of the 1990’s and early 00’s.
With the current regime the younger fans will never see the Shearer and Owen signing moments (those who are not fans of Alan Robson may celebrate that).
They will not witness the likes of Keegan on the steps when we sold Cole.
If they are lucky they will see an interview once a week which is scripted and produced with complimentary lighting.
At least we can hold on to these memories. Simple things for simple minds.
However, it is amazing to think back at how important the local press was only 10 years ago, never mind 20.
Now they only re-print what has been discussed 48 hours earlier on blogs and websites such as The Mag!