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Spurs say all journalists are welcome at club ahead of Newcastle clash

Controversy: Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is under pressure

Tottenham Hotspur FC has assured the NUJ that there will be no restrictions on any visiting journalists at the upcoming game against Newcastle following recent media bans at Newcastle FC.

According to the Union, Spurs confirmed to the NUJ that there would be no change in policy towards journalists after the union wrote to the club expressing concern.

The move followed the recent banning of local journalists from Newscastle FC by owner Mike Ashley after “negative” coverage of fan concerns and protests against him.

Chris Morley, NUJ northern organiser, said: “I am pleased that Spurs have moved to reassure the NUJ that its members suffering a ban by Newcastle United in their home city will be welcomed as normal as journalists covering the visitors to White Hart Lane on Sunday. We are told they will be afforded all normal facilities and courtesies.

“There is no place for some football clubs, such as Newcastle, to take petty, vindictive actions to hinder and intimidate journalists who happen to work for media whose coverage the clubs take offence at.”

He added: “We call on all clubs welcoming Newcastle to their grounds while this stupid ban exists to follow the lead of Spurs and insist that it is business as usual for visiting journalists irrespective of what differences there may be.”

Journalists from the Newcastle Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun were banned from the club last month and, according to the NUJ, Newcastle officials recently attempted to stop some journalists asking questions at a post-match press conference held at Sunderland AFC.

The Newcastle Chronicle responded to Newcastle-owner Mike Ashley with a letter published on its front page at the beginning of the month, which said: “The club flexed its muscles like some kind of North Korean dictatorship – hitting out at the set of newspapers that have followed the club through thick and thin since their very first game in 1892.”

The papers have received support from high-profile media voices including Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News and retired Daily Mirror sportswriter Brian McNally.