So banning the Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun from asking questions defies belief.
The relationship between England’s regional reporters and the clubs they cover is never simple.
There must always be compromise. The club provides regular access and a drip of stories and, in return, the newspapers keep things relatively civil.
A national paper can fill its sports pages with other clubs; the Newcastle Journal has to talk about Newcastle United.
The paper needs the club, but the club also needs the paper as a way of explaining itself through a channel that is not so obviously subjective as the club website.
Which is what makes the recent behaviour of Mike Ashley, the Newcastle United owner, so baffling.
Last season it banned the Telegraph, a national paper, from matches and news conferences for a story that spoke of a rift between the French players and the others in the dressing-room.
Most shrugged, thought the club had overreacted and moved on. But it turns out that was just the beginning.
On Sunday, after Newcastle’s defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Shite, the reporter from the Journal, the main local morning paper, tried to ask Alan Pardew a question in the post-match news conference. The press officer intervened to prevent him doing so.
The man from the Chronicle, the main evening paper, then tried and was also rebuffed. It subsequently turned out the Sunday Sun, the main local Sunday paper (which has nothing to do with the Sun on Sunday, a national), had also been banned from Newcastle home matches and press activities.
Their crime? They had reported on a march organised by the Time 4 Change group that was attended by hundreds of fans protesting against Ashley, Pardew and Joe Kinnear.
The pressure on Pardew would normally be certain to increase after he became the first Newcastle manager in almost half a century to lose successive league derbies . but who would sack him?
Only Ashley can do that, and for the fun of it, he will keep his man in job . if only to WIND UP Newcastle fans!
Ashley is a dictator; he has £3b in the bank; and as far as he is concerned he can do what the hell he likes.
Source: Newcastle United Mad