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Banned reporters welcome says premier league club

Premier league club Spurs has told reporters banned by Premiership rivals Newcastle that they will be welcome at their stadium this weekend.

As reported by HTFP, journalists from the Newcastle Chronicle and its sister titles The Journal and The Sunday Sun have been barred by Newcastle United from press conferences and matches at St James’s Park following a row over the Chronicle’s coverage of a fan protest against owner Mike Ashley.

Newcastle officials also attempted to stop selected local journalists asking questions at post-match press conference held at Sunderland AFC 10 days ago.

But in a response to a letter from the National Union of Journalists, Tottenham Hotspur, who host Newcastle United this weekend, has confirmed that visiting reporters will be welcome to all usual facilities during Sunday’s fixture at White Hart Lane.

The union wrote: “The NUJ is concerned, first and foremost, that freedom of the press is upheld and that our members can carry out their professional duties without hindrance.

“We believe the attitude of the owner of Newcastle is unreasonable. It is for this reason that the NUJ is requesting that Spurs does not intervene in any way and that it treats its visiting journalists in exactly the same way as it would normally do.”

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern organiser, said: “I am pleased that Spurs have moved to reassure the NUJ that its members suffering a ban by Newcastle United in their home city, will be welcomed as normal as journalists covering the visitors to White Hart Lane on Sunday. We are told they will be afforded all normal facilities and courtesies.

“There is no place for some football clubs, such as Newcastle, to take petty, vindictive actions to hinder and intimidate journalists who happen to work for media whose coverage the clubs take offence at.

“We call on all clubs welcoming Newcastle to their grounds while this stupid ban exists, to follow the lead of Spurs and insist that it is business as usual for visiting journalists irrespective of what differences there may be.”

Earlier this week the Chronicle published a letter to Mr Ashley on its front page, saying: “The club flexed its muscles like some kind of North Korean dictatorship – hitting out at the set of newspapers that have followed the club through thick and thin since their very first game in 1892.”

The Chronicle’s editor Darren Thwaites said: “All our sports reporters have done a terrific job covering matches at St James’ Park without media facilities but we’re pleased Spurs are extending their hospitality in the usual way.

“We’ll continue to bring independent coverage of Newcastle United with or without the support of a club we’ve covered faithfully since their very first game.”