Indefinite Ban On Journalists – Another Huge Error Of Judgement

Sometimes when you make a mistake you realize it’s exactly that and  you quickly correct it.  But that’s not what Mike Ashley has done after banning the local Journalists from asking questions to Alan Pardew after the Sunderland game, apparently the ban on access to all media facilities at St James’ Park and the club’s Benton base is indefinite.

How stupid can you get.

The answer seems to be – pretty stupid.

mike ashley

Mike Ashley – Newcastle owner – another error of judgement

When you think that local journalists like Lee Ryder, Mark Douglas and Neil Cameron are probably the closest to the news and heartbeat of the club than any other journalists, to ban them is like shooting yourself in the foot – with an AK-47.

This action will only backfire on Mike Ashley and the Newcastle club, and it already has, and it could soon become International news rather than just National news, that an owner will go so far as to ban journalists, simply  because he didn’t like the coverage of the fans’ march against the owner that took place a week ago last Saturday.

Hard cheese – Mike Ashley should know that you cannot control the news – unless you are living in a communist country.

And if you cannot take the criticism, you shouldn’t be owner of Newcastle United, because it comes with the territory.

This is the email sent to Chronicle editor Darren Thwaites:

“The club’s owner, Director of Football, Board of Directors and team manager have reached a unanimous decision that the three NCJ Media titles, The Chronicle, The Journal and Sunday Sun, will not be permitted access to any media facilities, Press conferences and player interviews at Newcastle United indefinitely and with immediate effect.”

“We do not require a reply to this letter, our position on this issue is not up for negotiation.”

This is an absurd position for Mike Ashley to take, and the sooner he comes to his senses and allows the journalists to do their jobs,  the better it will be for everybody associated with Newcastle United.

But it’s yet another serious error of judgement made by the Newcastle owner, and he will come to regret it.

Comments welcome.

31 comments so far

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #1

    Another stupid move that has further distanced the club from the fan base and the city

  • JDdubai

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #2

    Hard to tell from over here but i dont see many of the other press running with this story. Havent seen anything in the Mail, Telegraph or the bbc and sky covering this story.

    Have i just missed it? Or does it look like they arent allowed to report about it?

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #3

    right now I think we really have a realistic chance of getting him, like i said , the Norwegian season finishes soon, so it’s not like he is walking out half way through the season

    our squad is filled with god players that just need moulded , there is plenty of ability in it,

    he is used to working with a tighter budget than we normally have and does well

    most owners in football are the same, not every club has a multi billionaire owner,

  • Graeme

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #4

    It was in the Telegraph yesterday – at least the On-line version

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #5

    Think you’ve just missed it mate!
    There was a bit on SSN as well as few national papers, can’t remember which ones!

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #6

    Agree. T4C have totally the wrong agenda, despite their pre-protest comments indicating that they had it right.

    Pointless demanding Ashley to leave unless here is a potential buyer.

    We should have a proper DoF but we’re stuck with JFK for now because Ashley wants someone he trusts in that role. We shouldn’t have Wonga as a shirt sponsor but we’re stuck with them too. The time to protest against that was straight away (like Bolton did) but people just whinged for months instead. And we should be looking at ways of generating more commercial revenue.

    Sadly, it’s going to be tough to do the latter when there’s so much turmoil at the club, we’re hardly an amazingly attractive brand right now.

  • JackButler

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #7

    Ashley cannot be so stupid as to think that by banning the local press that there was not going to be reaction on a far bigger scale?

    This just points to his sheer arrogance that believes he can do whatever he like with no recourse!

    Guess what Mr. Ashley – You have drop a major bol**ck this time

  • JDdubai

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #8

    Ah ok, hard to keep ontop of it over here, too busy this week too.

    It does have the feeling that something has started though and will keep gaining in following….only wish i could convince the Sheikh here to buy the club!!

  • BandB

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #9


    If you click that little black News Now box at the top right of the screen, you will see them all.

  • banjax

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #11

    Mike Ashley would fit the bill as a Stalinist leader of old, with his clamp down on the local press. An idea of a ban he has no doubt copied from a now defunct Sunderland F C edict which prevented local radio commentators and assorted local Sunday newspaper columnists from having their legal right to freedom of the press – just a few years ago. Interestingly, the upper echelon at Sunderland AFC have now changed, so maybe (if we are lucky) the same will happen to the Newcastle management. One thing is for sure, the next three games are as tough as they come, and a win even at home to Man City is a tough ask never mind the two league games that follow. The loss of some if not all these matches may result in Pardew walking but what decent manager in his right mind would want to work under Ashley and Co ? The future as far as success for the fans is concerned, looks grim at the moment unless a Black and White Knight with loads of cash rides in to save the day. We can but hope !

  • geordieboy83

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #12


    You would think Ashley would be keeping an eye in the situation. He’s hardly gunna cost the world to release from his contract, would jump at the chance to manage in England and I’d imagine have the respect instantly if players and fans alike.

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #13


    you get working on that sheikh…he will save us. Maybe see if he has a daughter you can date and eventually marry and convince him to buy it as you’re now family? A long shot I know haha.


    I think the issue with Ashley is that all the rubbish he gets from the fans is brought on himself. Fans never complain, too a big extent, if the owner does things basically right. It’s all his own work and he should be willing to engage the fans more, of have better people that llambias and now wendy to do that on his behalf.

    JFA made a good point last night, with the free spending of shepherd and the money he took from the club we were only 86 mil in debt…now we are frugal but 130 mil in debt.

  • cyprus

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #14

    Your scathing remarks are correct but you only seem to reserve them for the owner. Anything for AP?

    He has at his disposal many top internationals yet we cannot put together any consistent displays. At least we are not consistently bad!

    The ‘magic’ ten game imaginary grace period is upon us. MA will be just as perplexed as the rest of us about what to do with AP. Just when he seems to be on his way, he pulls a Liverpool. Then, of course, a Sunderland. What will happen vs. City, Chelsea, Spurs? Well, we need to somehow beat City (it’s a cup game, no choice) and then WIN one of those two (!) or else we’re back in the dreaded ‘R’ area…. We’re just 3 points away from there and 8 points away from 4th. Clearly, we’re looking below us at this time.

    Should AP walk? Well yes, if we get nothing out of the next three games.

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #15


    jump at the chance? he turned villa down two years ago…he is a clever man and will make the moves that are best for himself.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #16

    For all those that would like the Chronicle to highlight the pettiness of this ban a little e mail from a few people wouldn’t do any harm
    darren .thwaites @
    Kevin. dinsdale @
    If you cant march take five minutes to send an e mail, ignore the spaces inbetween address, it’s to stop the comments getting automatically moderated.

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #17


    In the past people protested and sang against manager, souness, daglish, allerdyce, gullit….all because we saw them as the main problem.

    Now with people thinking ashley limits pardew, which he does, they have sympathy for pardew despite the fact he cant get a team of full internationals playing good football and linking to

  • cyprus

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #18

    Which will leave us at about where we were when he came. Some will say, worse, given the recent Sunderland poor record.

    Hughton, before he ‘left’ us:

    “His first home win on return to the Premier League came on 22 August, when Newcastle thrashed Aston Villa 6–0, with 3 goals from Andy Carroll, 2 goals from Kevin Nolan and 1 goal from Joey Barton. Hughton received praise for his calm management style to stabilise the club, shrewd signings and guiding Newcastle back to the Premier League. Prior to Newcastle’s 1–1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers and away win at Everton, he completed the signings of Cheick Tioté and Hatem Ben Arfa. Despite leading his newly promoted side to healthy ninth place by the end of October, unrest came when star player Andy Carroll was arrested for assault. Newcastle followed this with wins at West Ham United and a memorable 5–1 derby victory against Sunderland. Both before and after the victory Hughton received the backing of his players and the Newcastle supporters. Later in 2010, Hughton led United to their first win against Arsenal in five years, beating Arsenal 1–0 at the Emirates Stadium with an Andy Carroll header.

    Following a 3–1 defeat at West Brom in December, Hughton became the first Premier League manager of the 2010–11 season to lose his job.” Wikipedia

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #19


    There are several arguments against that JfA point though:
    1 – we were also loss making so debts would have continued to increase
    2 – we had been in the CL recently
    3 – our club was already in decline in all ways you can think of (youth, first team, finances, performances were all in decline from SBRs time)

    Since Ashley has taken over, Man City have bought one of the top 4 places and Spurs have continued their progression to be one of the top 6 teams. Previously top 4 was more attainable because it was Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool/Newcastle/Spurs/Everton for 4th place.

    You’re right though, Ashley brought these problems onto himself. But seeing as Ashley is stubborn and the more extreme fans are stubborn, then we’re stuffed.

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #20


    I loved houghton…wasn’t a world class manager but pardew isn’t goo enough to lace that mans boots.

    Houghton didn’t have the likes of cabaye, ben arfa (injured), remy, cisse, ba..all who score the individual goals.

    He had a workmanlike team he got playing to the best of their ability, he was a very good manager and my favourite we’ve have since Sir bobby

  • geordieboy83

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #21


    To be fair I forgot about that mate. But maybe now he feels is the right time? And u never know after fergusons comments about us in his book he may well advise ole to give it a shot?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #22

    Pardew wont have so easy much longer, that very first win at home to Lpool bought him a lot of time which after that humiliation against Stevenage he maybe didn’t deserve, the fifth place finish was huge for him as it made people tolerate his sometimes woeful football, and the only reason that he got let off lightly last season was the fact that every in that stadium knew he had been shat on from a great height then hung out to dry, his playing patsy all summer in my opinion has lost him the respect he had and I can see him getting both barrels if this inconsistency carries on, but by only shooting the monsters voice box out you’re not stopping the problem.

  • Transfer Sage

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #23


    I accept we won’t really be pushing top 4 and it takes more money to get it, so a bit more of a gamble.

    But the fans have been pretty good, the odd reported death threat (not good but an isolated case) and some songs, and 2 protests…shepherd dealt with so much more than that and was big enough to take it on the chin (not saying he was a messiah or anything). I just know I, and many friends were willing to forgive ashley, then he sacked houghton….then he manged to get AP in and we came 5th, ready to forgive again but he failed to strengthen that summer and done more to annoy us since….there’s only so many times you can forgive somebody on issues.

  • Ancientcoptic

    Oct 29, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #24

    So Mike Ashley’s idea of stopping negative media attention on himself is causing a furor, banning journalists and inviting more negative attention on himself, I am not joking, I honestly think there is something psychologically wrong with Ashley.

    How on earth did a man with such a latent uncomplex & simple mind, be able to make so much money for himself. I guess it must be more about who you know, more than what you know.

  • geordiemark

    Oct 29, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #25

    it will be interesting to notice the attendance for wednesdays cricket match v man city

  • geordiemark

    Oct 29, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #26


    considering how many people hes upset during his time at st james park you would think he would want everyone on his side but this being the north east of england ashley does not give a monkies about the club nor supporters nor the media for that matter what is mr ashley up to I wonder because theres something happening here maybe a sale of the club a donno

  • happyjohn

    Oct 29, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #27

    It might well be that the judged outcome has been achieved if the objective of MA in owning Newcastle is mainly to gain publicity for Sports Direct, then every bit of controversy around the club is good because it gets Sports direct into the media.
    Job done until the next controversial move.

  • tynesidetommo

    Oct 29, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #28

    Frankly, this has JFK’S fingerprints all over it. The protest march coverage was very tame TBH so the club is clearly trying to bully the local papers into highlighting only the more positive aspects of this regime.
    The ban is a stupid move by stupid people and the club’s PR guru should have got JFK and the others told robustly.
    There will only be one winners in all of this – and it will be another defeat for the club.

  • Jeff from Benwell

    Oct 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #29

    Totally agree with Ashley on this one.
    The Chronic and Journo/Sunday Sun have thought they were untouchable for years.
    To give a march of 300 numpties 5 times more coverage than a famous draw against Liverpool (having been reduced to 10 men ) in front of 50000 plus, is just crass and provocative.
    Refusing to talk to the media is not a clamp down on freedom of speech ffs.The right to say “no comment” is a freedom as well.
    The thought that this could be a catalyst ,or the start of something big is , frankly , laughable.
    If Thomson House even suspects the ban could effect sales they will grovel lower than a snakes belly to get back into NUFC.

  • The Prole

    Oct 29, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #30

    I suspect the Chronicle needs NUFC more than Ashley needs the Chronicle. How many people will buy the Chronicle without Toon stories? Be interesting to see if the Chronicle have the balls to go after Ashley and run a campaign against him, publish all rumours etc. Or will they just crumble and go crawling back after sales start to dwindle?

  • dcdick

    Oct 29, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Comment #31

    Ban the local press now …………………… brilliant tactical move………… never a dull moment at NUFC

    Pardew has come out in support of this bollocks as well

    So who gets to report on the club now then …. The Northern Echo ????????

    It’s another nail in your coffin ………..

    Pardew out !!!


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