Regional press journalists found thesmelves barred from a football club’s unveiling of their new manager this week.
Only the Daily Mirror, Sky and Newcastle United FC’s official website were invited to interview Steve McClaren as he was announced as the club’s new boss on Wednesday.
Among those denied access to the announcement were The Northern Echo, whose journalists were unable to question or photograph the new man.
The Mirror’s Newcastle-based regional sister titles, The Chronicle and The Journal, whose journalists had previously been banned from United’s St James’ Park stadium, were also denied separate access, although they were able to use Mirror copy on the anouncement.
The Chronicle splashed on the appointment in Thursday’s edition, pictured above, using copy and pictures shared from the Mirror’s North-East correpondent Simon Bird.
Chronicle journalists were subsequently given separate access to McClaren yesterday and have splashed again on the story today.
In December 2013, two months after the ban was imposed on the two Newcastle dailies and their Sunday Sun sister title, it was reported United had planned to charge national newspaper reporters wanting access to players.
In the wake of yesterday’s events both David Coverdale, North-East football reporter for The Sun, and Oliver Kay, chief football correspondent for The Times, tweeted about the club only inviting their “preferred media partners” to the unveiling.
The Daily Mail quoted McClaren as saying “I can’t. I’m sorry guys. Let the dust settle first,” when approached by reporters after the conference.
BothThe Northern Echo and Trinity Mirror declined to comment further on the issue when contacted by HTFP.
United’s latest decision comes days after Steve Simpson, sports reporter with The Gazette, Blackpool, was locked out of Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road stadium when they announced the appointment of new manager Neil McDonald.
No explanation was given by the club for the impromptu ban.