newcastle unitedThe row between Newcastle United and the local press pack escalated further today when the journalist’s union branded the club’s actions ‘childish’, ‘desperate’ & ‘over-sensitive’.

This latest spat between the football club started earlier this week “preferred media partners” invited to speak to Steve McClaren.

Today the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) intervened.

In a statement the NUJ’s Newcastle branch said: “Newcastle United are at it again. Desperately over-sensitive about what people are saying about them, their first reaction is to try to manage and manipulate press coverage – instead of trying to give people some reason to say something more positive about them. Their problem, of course, is the football. If they were a bit better at playing football, their fans might have something more positive to say about them.

“But then, they have a lot of form for such childish behaviour. Who are they going to speak to next week – and who are they going to blank? Who will they ask to be their new best friends, and who will they turn their backs on?
“They should take care. To turn their backs on the sports reporters is to risk cutting themselves out of the conversation – driving themselves yet further towards irrelevance.”

If you’re feeling a sense of deja vu reading this post, you’re right – this time last year, The Sun and the club denied a deal when all the other newspapers were locked out.

Ironically, during that episode, it was the Mirror’s Simon Bird who was one of the most vocal about the move. This time it was Bird who secured the interview with McClaren. He was invited alongside Sky and the club’s website.