The Newcastle Evening Chronicle is planning to run a frank message to Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley in its Saturday edition following a ban from the media facilities at the club’s grounds.
In an apparent retaliation to its ban, tomorrow’s front page of the paper will quote Sir Bobby Robson leading with the headline: “Read This Mr Ashley”.
“What is a club in any case? Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.
“It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city. It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”
The paper will also encourage fans to submit their own views on what NUFC means to them using the Twitter hashtag #ReadThisMrAshley.
It comes after the Chronicle and its sister titles, The Journal and Sunday Sun, were told following Newcastle United’s loss to Sunderland last Sunday that their access to James’ Park and the club’s Benton base had been suspended.
According to the Chronicle, the ban is based upon what NUFC bosses claim was “completely disproportionate” coverage of the Time4change protest march, which saw fans demonstrate against Mike Ashley’s ownership of the club.