A football club which has already banned its local newspapers from media access is set to extend restrictions to other media under a plan to charge for interviews, it has been claimed.
According to Newcastle daily the Chronicle, Newcastle United is planning to offer a series of packages to national newspapers which will see them given “exclusive” access to players in return for a fee.
Now the Chronicle has reported that national newspaper journalists based in the North East have been told they will no longer be given access to players between matches unless they pay for it.
The Trinity Mirror titles have been banned by the club since October but it is not known whether any local newspapers have been offered the paid-for packages or whether they will also face restricted access to players.
Sports writer Mark Douglas wrote: “Fresh from banning ncjMedia titles, Newcastle United have broken from the pack to move in a new direction in terms of their relationship with the rest of the print media.
“They have told reporters from national titles who are working in the North East that they will no longer be given access to their players between matches this season and will instead give those “privileges” to organisations that pay them.
“This has never happened before. They are the first Premier League football club to try to do this and it will be interesting to see what kind of reaction it garners. At least one national newspaper had heard of the plan but there has been an overwhelmingly negative response since news of the proposal leaked.”
MPs have condemned Newcastle United and other football clubs for banning local newspaper journalists in an early day motion.
Newcastle United has so far not responded to requests for a comment on the Chronicle’s story.