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Saudi Arabia Newcastle United shirt outrage – Journalists don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story

4 days ago
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Newcastle United fans are now finding themselves yet again the target because of the Saudi Arabia PIF majority ownership.

Recent days have seen ‘leaked’ images claiming to be the new Newcastle United shirts for the 2022/23 season.

As usual with these ‘leaked’ images, a mixed response from fans as to how good / bad they looked.

On Wednesday (11 May) it was the claimed home shirt that went public first, the usual black and white stripes.

Newcastle United Home Shirt 2022/23

Next up, also on Wednesday, was a ‘leaked’ change strip, claimed to be the third shirt. This was dark blue with gold logos etc.

Newcastle United 2022/23 Third Shirt

Then completing the set of ‘leaked’ images, on Thursday (12 May 2022) it was another change shirt, claimed to be the new away shirt. This one white with some green.

Newcastle United 2022/23 Away Shirt

My first thought was how it reminded me of the 1990 Ireland (Jack Charlton era) away shirt…

Republic of Ireland Away Shirt 1990

…however, for others the first thought was that that is the latest Saudi Arabia outrage, as it used the same colours (green and white) as the Saudi Arabia national side…

Saudi Arabia Home Shirt 2022

To be honest, I didn’t see this latest media pile on coming, however, this is what we have had, this claimed ‘leaked’ away shirt apparently the most shameful thing that has ever happened in the world…since the last time Newcastle United fans found themselves under attack from journalists for something that they have played absolutely no part in, or had a vote on whatever the latest thing we should supposedly ashamed about and apologise for.

The thing is though, that when it comes to journalists and writing about Newcastle United and specifically NUFC fans, they don’t even have to let truth get in the way of a good story. I have never ever seen this on such a scale with any other club or their fans. Journalists literally think they can write anything derogatory about Newcastle United supporters and / or their club and everybody else (non-Newcastle fans) don’t care, which to be fair, is true

Rob Harris of The Associated Press via Twitter – 13 May 2022:

“Wasn’t an issue with Mike Ashley for Newcastle fans the lack of engagement & consultation?

“And now we have reported images of a new club shirt being introduced that’s a replica of the Saudi national team jersey in colours not used by the club previously.”

Yes, Newcastle United have never used white and green / green and white in any previous shirt, well that is, apart from the ones where they have used white and green / green and white.

Yes Rob, if you are writing about Newcastle United, don’t bother doing any research, or sticking to the truth, after all who else cares (apart from Newcastle fans) if it makes your story ‘better’…

Newcastle United away shirt 1999/2000

This is the Newcastle United away shirt from the 1999/2000 season, just one of many instances that green and white have been used together previously.

As for Rob’s opening line of…’Wasn’t an issue with Mike Ashley for Newcastle fans the lack of engagement & consultation?’, his insinuation (to me anyway) is that Newcastle fans would / should have been expected to now be consulted on and have a say in what any new shirt designs are. Yes, that’s right Rob, pretty much every other Premier League club sees the fans voting on what the new shirt designs / colours should be. As for ‘lack of engagement and consultation’ being one of the most serious problems fans had with Mike Ashley, hmmm, yes everything would have been just great if only Mike Ashley had consulted fans before running the club into the ground, refusing to allow any proper investment in the infrastructure, treating the likes of Jonas Gutierrez, Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer so disgracefully, renaming St James Park after his tat shop (with no money going into NUFC), plastering St James Park and everything else (training ground etc) with hundreds of Sports Direct advertising hoardings (with not a penny going into NUFC for a decade), having a club policy of not trying in the cups, treating fans so abysmally…and so on.

Ian Herbert writing for The Mail – 13 May 2022:

“Surprise, surprise, this is one replica shirt for which there has been no big reveal.

“Just a leak that the club aren’t commenting on.

“This is precisely how sportswashing works: insidiously, by stealth and deceit, through lies. And in this case, by weaponising fans against anyone with the temerity to publicly challenge their despicable human rights violations.”

It is so sad to see some decent journalists not just sticking to the facts and doing their research.

With Ian Herbert making out that this is something very unusual, unique even, when it comes to how this shirt has come into the public domain…’Surprise, surprise, this is one replica shirt for which there has been no big reveal.’

Hmmm, well only the day before the white and green shirt went up on social media, two other Newcastle United ‘leaked’ shirts had gone up 24 hours earlier.

This is the trouble, journalists wanting to embellish their stories with things that are simply not true.

EVERY SINGLE YEAR the same thing happens, all of the three new Newcastle United shirts at some point are ‘leaked’ before being officially unveiled / launched by the club, EVERY SINGLE SHIRT DESIGN…EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Ian Herbert making out that the Saudi Arabia majority NUFC owners have been behind this subtle ‘no big reveal’ for one of the claimed new change shirt designs. It is laughable and embarrassing that the likes of Ian Herbert didn’t even bother to check out what the background is usually for NUFC shirts being ‘leaked’ each season.

It happens just the same every year, not just for Newcastle United but pretty much every other club as well. These shirts have to be made somewhere, samples / images have to be shown to shops / buyers before they decide what quantities they are committing to etc, it is inevitable that somebody in the chain will stick up images on social media, or even make a few quid selling ‘leaked’ images to media. There are even dedicated websites such as Footy Headlines that are full of leaked shirt reveals for pretty much every club.

Ian Herbert then adding ‘Just a leak that the club aren’t commenting on,’ as though this is something extraordinary as well. The inconvenient truth for journalists such as Ian, is that Newcastle United have NEVER EVER commented on these ‘leaked’ images of shirts that appear before any official release. It would be bizarre if for the first time ever, NUFC did come out and comment either way on this particular green and white design, whether it was confirming or denying it was a design for the 2022/23 season.

I have no idea whether this new green and white ‘leaked’ shirt (if it is the real deal) is part of some cunning Saudi Arabia related plan. I think on balance it very probably has come about due to the Saudi Arabia PIF ownership, plus they (Saudi Arabia) PIF use green and white on their official branding as well.

At the same time, as I have noted above, a combination of green and white has been used a number of times in the past as well. When you bring out two change strips every season, in Newcastle United’s case you can’t use red for obvious reasons, which then means that blue is used the vast majority of times for one of the two designs, then the other one ends up using the likes of one or more of yellow, green, white, black, or grey (which tends not to look very inspiring).

Anyway, here’s to the next outrage and journalists having free rein to write whatever they like about Newcastle United and especially the fans, whether it is the truth or not.

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