A regional daily has demanded answers for football fans on its patch in a front page plea to a club owner who it says has evaded its questions.
The Chronicle, Newcastle, has urged Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley to set out his vision for the club after a lack of activity in the summer transfer window left supporters with “more questions than answers”.
Prior to the newspaper splashing on a series of questions for Mr Ashley on Saturday, he had turned down repeated requests to talk to The Chronicle’s journalists.
The newspaper has had previous run-ins with Mr Ashley, which included its journalists being banned from United’s St James’ Park home for 14 months between October 2013 and December 2014 after it covered protests against his ownership by supporters.
United are currently 14th in the Premier League, English football’s top division, after winning the second tier Championship in May.
The paper’s Newcastle United reporter Mark Douglas told HTFP: “After winning the Championship and Mike Ashley’s promise to provide ‘every penny’ earned from promotion, we seemed set for an exciting summer at St James’ Park.
“But we ended the transfer window with more questions than answers. [Manager] Rafa Benitez has answered every question posed to him but it has become apparent that it’s Ashley who needs to set out exactly what happened in the close season – and where he sees the club going.
“The owner recently spoke to Sky but there was a frustration that he was not asked questions that might give some more insight into what has happened during the summer. So far, Mr Ashley has turned down every request to speak to the Chronicle; instead preferring to speak to rights holders Sky.
“Our front page was intended to give Newcastle’s owner an insight into the issues that really matter to United fans – and hopefully instigate a dialogue that can help prevent the impasse at St James’ Park. We will be following it up with the club in the coming days.”