Newcastle United have launched an attack on the media over what they perceive to be continued inaccurate reporting in the club.
A Channel 4 “Dispatches” documentary that aired on Monday claimed that a percentage of sales from goods sold in the club shop and online went to sportswear store Sports Direct – who are run by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and whose image features prominently around the club.
The Premier League club believes that Newcastle supporters were “misled” by the reports.
Local and national newspapers have previously been banned from St James’ Park over perceived unfair reporting.
Following the program’s airing, Newcastle released a statement on Tuesday titled: “Inaccurate media reporting by Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ – the media mislead again.”
It read: “[The] programme made a wholly inaccurate claim regarding the retail relationship between the club and Sports Direct.
“In the club’s view, the broadcaster deliberately misled Newcastle United supporters and provided yet another example of erroneous media reporting which only serves to further antagonise fans.
“For the purpose of clarity, we can reconfirm that 100 per cent of the income from goods bought in the club’s official stores and on its website are received by the club and not Sports Direct, as the ‘Dispatches’ programme claimed.
“The only money paid by the club to Sports Direct is for the stock [at cost price], plus a handling fee. This represents far better value than the costs the club historically incurred in relation to purchasing, storage and distribution.”
Newcastle have faced problems on and off the pitch in recent weeks, with the team having lost seven straight matches to leave them just five points clear of the drop with four matches remaining.
The club’s last two home games have also been hit by supporter boycotts in protest against Ashley’s regime at St James’ Park.
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