Newcastle United has reportedly unveiled a proposition to media titles offering interviews with players and officials for payment.
The news is the latest twist to Newcastle United’s strained relationship with the media, which has resulted in recent bans for local papers and journalists following a dispute over coverage related to owner Mike Ashley.
The club has come under heavy criticism for issuing the bans in October to the Newcastle Chronicle, the Journal and Sunday Sun.
According to sportswriter Mark Douglas of the Newcastle Chronicle – a Trinity Mirror title - one national newspaper has already “delivered an unequivocal ‘no’”.
“Fresh from banning ncjMedia titles, Newcastle United have broken from the pack to move in a new direction in terms of their relationship with the rest of the print media,” he wrote.
“They have told reporters from national titles who are working in the North east that they will no longer be given access to their players between matches this season and will instead give those ‘privileges’ to organisations that pay them.
“This has never happened before. They are the first Premier League football club to try to do this and it will be interesting to see what kind of reaction it garners.”
The Drum was awaiting comment from Newcastle United at time of publication.
Update: Newcastle United has denied the claim, saying it is "categorically untrue". The Drum has contacted Mark Douglas for a response.