Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fog on the Taedong

Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse, along comes Jabba to provide an easy source of further ridicule. 

This time, he’s taken umbrage at the recent local press coverage given to the Time4Change march and as such has banned the Ronny Gill, the Journal and the Sunday Sun from the club. 

Ironically, it is those same publications which are often criticised for being too pally with the club, too willing to toe the party line but not anymore. 

Presumably Jabba is already starting his own Sports Direct edition of Pravda which will be available in the club shop and carry exclusive interviews and match reports in which every player is at least a 7 out of 10 and our goals are feted regardless of results. Pyongyang upon Tyne anyone? 

Press bans aren’t themselves a new thing, with the Telegraph’s Luke Edwards singled out last season over his stories of a Francophone clique in the dressing room and indeed, many years ago, I had a conversation with then Newcastle correspondent Alan Oliver who described a six-month ban during Keegan’s first reign, which he described as one of the hardest periods of his professional life. 

The reality is, for Lee Ryder et al, they are now going to have to work twice as hard to fill the voracious appetite of their readership for stories about our club. However, they can do so without fear of causing offence, which means they can report honestly about both the club and possibly also Wonga (who they had started to embrace).

Perhaps a critical approach to the club’s main sponsor might see some pressure exerted by Wonga, which in turn might see Jabba re-open the doors to the local press.

Until then it makes our owner, and by association our club, look small, petty-minded and frankly ridiculous, causes greater uncertainty and means we once again find ourselves worrying more about relegation than about bouncing back from Sunday's defeat.


You can read the text of the club's letter here and the National Union of Journalism's response can be found here.

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