SPORT
11/12/2013 13:10 GMT | Updated 11/12/2013 13:22 GMT

Newcastle United 'Demand Media Pay To Interview Players'

PA

Newcastle United could demand media titles pay for access to their players.

A series of packages offering interviews for a fee has been proposed by the club, who have already banned three local newspapers from St James's Park.

The club have even graded the packages as gold, silver and bronze, effectively ranking members of their first-team squad.

An unprecedented move by a Premier League club, the Chronicle says Newcastle have told reporters from national titles covering football in the North East they will "no longer be given access to their players between matches this season". Instead, “privileges” will be granted to organisations willing to pay them.

In October, it was revealed the Chronicle, the Journal and the Sunday Sun newspapers had been banned by owner Mike Ashley for their reports of a supporters' protest march.

Earlier this season, Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite, who banned the local Sentinel newspaper from Vale Park after a reporter asked when supporters would receive their £55 replica shirts they paid for, said the 'paper should pay him £10,000 to cover the club.