It has been confirmed by Sky Sports today that Newcastle United players are now ‘refusing’ to cooperate with the media until the the latest ‘bonus dispute’ with Mike Ashley is resolved.
On the plus side, it seems there’s now pressure being placed on Mike Ashley from both players, fans and Rafa Benitez – although this just emphasises the total idiocy that currently exists at board level.
As confirmed by Sky’s Keith Downie, this dispute is purely between the club and players – and nothing to do with TV companies such as Sky Sports and BT Sports – however the squad are clearly taking a stand in a bid to get this sorted once and for all.
Here’s what Sky’s Keith Downie and Pete Graves have had to say about the situation today:
Newcastle United’s players have withdrawn cooperation with the media as part of a dispute with the club over bonuses for the upcoming season. The players refused to give their time for “walk up” shots for TV companies at the training ground today.
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) August 6, 2018
Hearing #nufc players are refusing to cooperate with media until bonus despute resolved. Refused the traditional walk-up shots for @skysports today. This needs to be resolved. Similar scenario last season too. Latest on @SkySportsNews
— Pete Graves (@PeteGravesSky) August 6, 2018
It was highlighted in The Mail last night that NUFC players were threatening not to fulfil media commitments as a result of this bonus dispute with Mike Ashley, and it seems they have now following through with those threats – refusing to do any pre-season shots for TV broadcasters today and failing to speak after recent defeats to Braga and Augsburg over the last few weeks.
A reminder that this all comes just five days away from the new season’s big kick off.
What a mess.
#nufc players have made it clear that their media break is “not personal”. It’s an internal dispute on bonuses. Unlike last year there is no £20million bonus on offer for winning the FA Cup being pushed in direction of #nufc players! The dispute surrounds positional bonus fees.
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) August 6, 2018