One of the last remaining Saturday sports titles is set to cease publication in print and be relaunched as an online-only product.
The announcement makes no direct reference to the print edition but the National Union of Journalists claimed staff were told on Tuesday that it was ceasing publication.
It said there were no jobs directly at risk, although it believes some copytakers’ work may go.
The Saturday sports edition has been produced for more than a century, after being founded in 1907, and it is one of a handful of such titles still being produced around the country.
One of The Star’s sister titles in Johnston Press, Portsmouth daily The News, closed its Saturday sports paper last October.
Star editor Jeremy Clifford said: “It is an exciting development in the history of the Green ‘Un, which will see it become far more immediate, responsive and reactive to what is going on in the footballing world.
“The Green ‘Un brand has a long and proud history in Sheffield and this will continue. It started out with homing pigeons carrying the sports results back to head office and this is yet another development in its history.”
“With changing times of kick-offs and the ready availability of results and reports now on phones, tablets and the internet, the printed product on a Saturday evening has far less relevance than it used to.
“People have found other ways of getting what they want, which is why we are responding in an entrepreneurial way by putting all of our resources into a digital platform, on mobile, website, Twitter and online, to ensure the brand name continues to have a future.”
However the NUJ is now calling for a thorough investigation into keeping the Green ‘Un as a print and online product and has called for a full consultation with staff and Sheffield residents.
Chris Morley, Northern and Midlands organiser, said: “For too long, senior newspaper executives with bloated salaries have been making decisions to close well-loved and widely admired titles after years of slowing bleeding them to death through lack of investment. Closure is a mark of their failure, not the failure of a title with a century-old tradition.
“Instead of getting paid as entrepreneurs growing their business, corporate terminators are showered with huge sums to hack off large parts of their own companies.
“The trouble is that they did not make these businesses. They therefore should not have the ability to snuff them out as publications on the streets without widespread and fullsome debate and consultation with the communities from where these titles emerged.
“I challenge Johnston Press to engage with the people of Sheffield about the proposed loss of The Star’s Green ‘Un edition – and have the guts for once to invest properly in their printed products to make them a success in combination with the new publishing platforms that exist today.”