Chronicle Blasts Ashley!

02 November 2013 11:24
The Chronicle prints a front page message to NUFC owner Mike Ashley today, Saturday, November 2. Here editor Darren Thwaites explains why .

Last weekend, it emerged that Newcastle United had banned the Chronicle from the club.

At the end of a week of strong media coverage, Thwaites last night tweeted a preview of Saturday's Chronicle front page.

Here he explains the thinking behind it:

"Even by the standards of this unique city and the football club that stands at its heart, it’s been a quite extraordinary week.

The Chronicle and its sister titles, The Journal and Sunday Sun, were issued with a media ban for reporting on a protest march which did actually take place.

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.

Far from keeping a lid on the protest march, the media ban catapulted the issue into the national media spotlight.

The local editors had agreed not to go public on the club’s sanctions in the build-up to the Wear-Tyne derby.

But it was the club itself, in one of the most embarrassing ways possible, which put the dispute into the public domain. Boss Alan Pardew was told he couldn’t answer any questions from our reporters in the after-match press conference - and the farce was gleefully lapped up by the national media.

To say it left the club’s hierarchy looking rather foolish would be something of an understatement.

On Tuesday, after an unbelievable day of web and social media activity, we made our position very clear.

Quite simply, we’d prefer to be banned than gagged.

That position remains and will continue to do so, whatever the future holds.

We will never be told what to publish, when to publish and how much to publish.

Our independence and integrity are far more important than that.

We’ll simply continue to report fairly but fearlessly.

Make no mistake, we still support the club, whatever our disagreement with those that currently run it.

Most of our team at the Chronicle bleed black and white just like the rest of the city.

The whole mood of the office mirrors that on the streets outside.

As a media business, we sell stacks more newspapers when United win - especially if we beat our neighbours down the road.

The media ban is surely about a whole lot more than how many pages our newspapers devoted to a public protest march which all media covered.

In truth, it’s been a sanction waiting to happen for some considerable time - and certainly from the moment we refused to rename St James’ Park after Mr Ashley’s sports clothing company.

We came under fierce behind-the-scenes pressure to relent and we refused, quite rightly so.

It’s the only occasion the club has acknowledged our media value to them, claiming we were costing them big money by refusing to name-check any future sponsor.

The shock appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football and the embarrassing interview that followed provoked more strong and independent coverage from the Chronicle.

But we also devote page after page to positive stories and generate excitement and passion.

We even ran a campaign called United We Stand when the club flirted with relegation last season. Our message was to stick together and leave any inquest until after safety was secured.

This week we simply carried on as normal, paying at the turnstiles like ordinary fans.

And our coverage culminates today in one of the most powerful and heartfelt front pages in the Chronicle’s recent history.

It’s not a decision we have taken lightly. No media organisation wants to banned from its local football club.

And we recognise that today’s approach might further entrench the club’s position in denying media access to our titles.

But we want to send a message to Mr Ashley about why he must understand what Newcastle United really means in this city.

He may be the club’s owner on an official piece of paper somewhere - but, emotionally, the club will always belong to the people.

It’s a birthright in this city, a religion, a way of life.

Sir Bobby’s quote on the front page sums up that feeling better than anyone ever could.

And fans on this page - and many more online - have so beautifully articulated what it means to them, personally.

We hope Mr Ashley reads today’s Chronicle and understands the genuine sentiment behind it.

It’s a message that needed saying, and - with the help of our readers - we’ve said it very eloquently."




The new version of "Magpies In Europe" will be launched next week.

Although NUFC are not talking to the Chronicle or Sunday Sun . we are!

And the full story is expected to be in newspapers within the next two weeks.

The official new title is "Magpies In Europe - Harvey To Pardew" and is an up-dated version of "From Antwerp To Zurich" - which includes the 14 Europa League fixtures we played last season.

The 280-page book features match reports from the 134 European matches Newcastle United have played, starting with the memorable 4-0 win over Feyenoord in 1968 on our European debut. 

Included are stats and the figures you would expect, but also each away fixture has the remarkable experiences of individuals who travelled to watch the matches. 

Introduction by "Big Bad" John McNamee, part of the Fairs Cup winning team of 1969.

It is a fascinating history that every Newcastle United fan will enjoy. 

And with a limited print-run, make sure you order a copy. 


More details will be announced this week about where it will be sold, but we are selling it MAIL ORDER for £8.95 (but postage will be £1.50 extra).

(*Or we will be selling them for £8.95 prior to home games in Newcastle)

ON SALE NOW AT: M&M City News; 140 Northumberland St, Newcastle NE1 7DQ.

The Flower Shop, Spennymoor, Co Durham.

RRP: £10.95

if you want to order, contact us:-


Mail order: Send a cheque for £10.45 made payable to K.Fletcher to:

K Fletcher, 5 Dunelm, Sacriston, Durham DH7 6NU

Include your own address.



Saturday November 2Premier League12:45 Newcastle United v Chelsea 15:00 Fulham v Man Utd 15:00 Hull City v Sunderland 15.00 Manchester City v Norwich City 15:00 Stoke City v Southampton 15:00 West Brom v Crystal Palace 15:00 West Ham United v Aston Villa 17:30 Arsenal v Liverpool

Sunday November 3Premier League13:30 Everton v Tottenham 16:00 Cardiff City v Swansea City



SUNDERLAND 2 NEWCASTLE 1 (Debuchy)Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Dummett, Santon, Sissoko (45' Cisse), Tiote, Cabaye, Gouffran (86' Sammy Ameobi), Ben Arfa, Remy (70' Shola Ameobi).Subs: Anita, Haidara, Elliot, Obertan.

NEWCASTLE UTD 2 LIVERPOOL 2 (Cabaye, Dummett)Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Cabaye (78'  Sammy Ameobi), Tiote, Gouffran, Sissoko (45' Dummett), Remy, Ben Arfa (78' Anita).Subs: Cisse, Elliot, Obertan, Dummett.

CARDIFF CITY 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Remy 2)Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Tiote, Cabaye (86' Ben Arfa), Gouffran, Sissoko, Remy (71' Gutierrez), Cisse Subs: Anita, Yanga-Mbiwa, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett 

EVERTON 3 NEWCASTLE 2 (Cabaye, Remy)Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa (46' Williamson), Coloccini, Santon, Tiote, Anita (69' Cisse), Ben Arfa (46' Cabaye), Sissoko, Gouffran, Remy Subs: Elliot, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett 

NEWCASTLE 2 HULL CITY 3 (Remy 2)Krul, Debuchy (86' Tiote), Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Cabaye (62' Gouffran), Anita, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Cisse (73' Marveaux), Remy Subs: Williamson, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett 

ASTON VILLA 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ben Arfra, Gouffran)Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Anita (74' Tiote), Cabaye (88' Sammy Ameobi), Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Remy (63' Gouffran), Cisse Subs: Elliot, Marveaux, S Taylor, Dummett 

NEWCASTLE 1 FULHAM 0 (Ben Arfa)Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita 65' (Cabaye), Marveaux 74' (Remy), Shola Ameobi 65' (Gouffran), Cisse Subs: Gosling, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett 

NEWCASTLE 0 WEST HAM 0Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita, Marveaux 66' (Sammy Ameobi), Shola Ameobi, Cisse 72'Subs: Gosling, Bigirimana, Elliot, Vuckic, Dummett 

MAN CITY 4 NEWCASTLE 0Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Sissoko, Tiote, Gouffran 45+4' (Dummett), Ben Arfa 65' (Sammy Ameobi), Gutierrez 44' (Anita), Cisse Subs: Elliot, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Obertan 


NEWCASTLE 0 MAN CITY 2 (AET)Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Haidara (45 Dummett, 80 Ben Arfa), Anita, Tiote, Gouffran, Sissoko, Shola Ameobi (66 Cabaye), CisseSubs: Remy, Elliot, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi

NEWCASTLE 2 LEEDS UTD 0 (Cisse, Gouffran)Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett, Gouffran (90' Vuckic), Anita (80' Gosling), Tiote, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Cisse (71' Obertan).Subs: Ben Arfa, Yanga-Mbiwa, Bigirimana, Alnwick 

MORECAMBE 0 NEWCASTLE 2 (Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi)Elliot, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Good, Dummett, Bigirimana, Gosling, Marveaux 88' (Sissoko), Vuckic 46' (Shola Ameobi), Sammy Ameobi, Gouffran 71' (Ben Arfa)Subs: Santon, Anita, Alnwick, Streete 

Newcastle United Fixtures


Saturday November 212:45 Premier LeagueNewcastle United v Chelsea

Sunday November 1012:00 Premier LeagueTottenham v Newcastle United


Source: Newcastle United Mad