Soccer team Newcastle United accused the Daily Telegraph of ‘inaccurate” and “disgraceful journalism” and said it will no longer allow Telegraph reporters to have acess to the team.
According to Newcastle United, the Telegraph‘s story claiming the team was up for sale was false. The team called for a “full and unreserved apology.” In a statement on its website, the team wrote:
“For the avoidance of doubt, this means that for the remainder of this season and AT LEAST until the end of next season, Mike Ashley will not, under any circumstances, sell Newcastle United at any price.
“The Club cannot be stronger in stating its position on this matter.”
The statement was in response to the Telegraph‘s Sept. 10 story saying Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley was open to selling the team.
The story claimed: “Although the club have not been officially put up for sale as the uncertainty could destabilise the business and unsettle the team, Telegraph Sport understands Ashley would like to sell if he can find someone with the financial muscle to take the club forward.”
The story now carries a correction, admitting error in the story’s original headline. The correction reads:
“*Correction, Sept 12 2014: The headline on this article originally stated that Newcastle United is ‘for sale’. The club made clear today that it will not be sold ‘at any price’ for the remainder of this season and at least until the end of next season.”
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In its statement complaining about the Telegraph, Newcastle United also indicated that the newspaper’s reporters didn’t contact the team for comment before publication.
“It is not acceptable for newspapers to print factually inaccurate reports that are damaging to the Club and to fail to check facts with Newcastle United ahead of publication and then expect to receive access to the Club.”
Newcastle United’s Mark Hannen told iMediaEthics “the club has nothing further to add to its statement.”
The team won’t let any Telegraph reporters or freelancers or the author of the reports in question, Luke Edwards, have “access to the Club,” it said.
“The ban extends to all reporters working for, or freelancing on behalf of, the Daily Telegraph, as well as Luke Edwards in any capacity he may have working for the paper’s sister title or on a freelance basis.”
Sports news site Bleacher Report noted that Newcastle has banned journalists before. Last year, the team announced a ban on the Journal, Evening Chronicle and Sunday Sun for reports on a “fan-organised protest march against owner Mike Ashley,” the Mirror reported.
It is the second time the Telegraph was banned by the team, ITV News reported. The team banned the Telegraph for its reporting on “an alleged split in the dressing room.”
iMediaEthics has reached out to the Telegraph reporter via Twitter for comment.