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Newspapers in talks over lifting football club ban

A thawing of positions in the stand-off between three regional titles and a Premier League football club could lead to the lifting of a ban on the newspapers.

Discussions are underway to help resolve the breakdown of the relationship between Newcastle United FC and the city’s three Trinity Mirror-owned titles which has already seen the Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun shunned at St James’ Park for most of last season.

Mal Robinson, the new editor of football for TM’s North-East titles, is hopeful that fresh dialogue with the club may see a return to pre and post-match press conferences for their reporters and access to match-day facilities.

It follows an apparent olive-branch from Magpies boss Alan Pardew who highlighted the “optimism” in the local media about the club’s prospects, having previously claimed it had “a bit of an agenda” towards the club.

I beg your Pardew . . . the Sunday Sun back page that appeared to apologise to the Newcastle fans for their appalling run of form last season

Mal, who joined as head of sports operations after a switch in careers which included seeing active war service for the RAF in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict, described the current situation as “a work in progress.”

“Fingers crossed, we can get the professional relationship back up as it was before,” he added.

Mr Pardew hinted at a thaw in relations when he said in a post-match conference: “The feeling in the local media and press and our fans is one of optimism.

“That’s felt on the training ground as well. It’s felt by my staff and some of my staff have been here for 25 years.”

The row originally erupted over the papers’ coverage of a fans’ protest against club owner Mike Ashley.

Relations reached an all-time low in April this year when the Newcastle-based Sunday Sun published a mocking back page headlined ‘We’re So Sorry’ in which it appeared to accept the blame for the team’s poor run of results and apologised to fans.

The back page highlighted the team’s disastrous run of 11 defeats, during which they conceded 28 goals and scored only one.