As we mentioned in a report we put out before the game yesterday, Newcastle could now face a big fine from the FA and Premier League, after the club were forced to delay the start of their Premier League game with Leicester City for an hour, because the new large video screen was unstable and was seemed a safety hazard.
The video screen that was unstable
Referee Martin Atkinson refused to allow the turnstiles to open while the large video screen was unstable, and the gates didn’t open until 3:15 pm – 15 minutes after the game should have kicked off.
The video screen will show Sports Direct advertisements during breaks in filming of the game, so it’s even more free advertising for owner Mike Ashley and his company Sports Direct – and to think we thought it was for the benefit of the fans at the game.
This was a complete and utter screw up by Newcastle, and embarrassing that the game couldn’t go ahead as planned – and it was a real inconvenience to the over 50,000 fans who attended the game.
Did the club not check the video screen earlier in the week, to make sure it was safe and attached correctly?
Here’s the statement Newcastle put out as an apology:
Newcastle United Football Club would like to offer sincere apologies to everyone affected by the delay to kick-off of today’s Barclays Premier League fixture with Leicester City at St. James’ Park.
Turnstiles were closed until 3.15pm whilst loose dressing panels surrounding the newly installed LED screen in the Leazes Stand were assessed and made secure by engineers. Kick-off was subsequently rescheduled to 4pm.
Before turnstiles were opened, an issue was identified with the dressing panels and in order to give the Club the opportunity to rectify the situation, the decision was taken to keep the turnstiles closed. Supporter safety was of paramount importance and the Club felt that this action was necessary as a precaution.
The Club wishes to make very clear that the issues we experienced were not to do with the screen itself. Although the screen carries the ‘adi.tv’ branding the dressing panels were not installed by ADI nor a company sub-contracted by ADI.
We wish to apologise once again to everyone who suffered inconvenience as a result of this issue today and wish to place on record our particular thanks to all supporters at St. James’ Park for their patience.
We fully expect Newcastle to be reprimanded and fined for this incompetence, before the game even kicked off yesterday.
Newcastle need to get their act together in a number of areas.
And other news before the game was that in their wisdom, Newcastle have also decided not to give the journalists any food in the press room before the game – what are they thinking?
What is it that they don’t like about journalists?
Newcastle need to hire a good PR company with a view to improving their relationships with both fans and journalists.
That would be a good start.
You can follow us on our three social media sites below: