Newcastle United announced Tuesday that they have banned yet another media outlet from access to the club. This time the offending party was the Sunday Express, who reported in an exclusive that Alan Pardew is one poor performance away from being sacked.
True to form, NUFC chose the nuclear option when a simple refutation would have sufficed. A similar incident occurred last year around this time when The Telegraph printed allegations of a dressing room split ostensibly caused by the overwhelming presence of French-speaking players. A sane club would have ignored the reports, or at the very worst made a statement about their falsehood. Instead, the response was to stick the head of Luke Edwards on a pike outside the castle wall to warn off any other would-be bearers of bad news, and all under the guise of protecting the good name of Journalism. Clearly John Richardson didn't get the message.
It's stunts like this that make silly doings seem plausible. This week rumors circulated on Twitter that WWE CEO Vince McMahon might be interested in buying the club from Mike Ashley. For no other club would this bit of obvious trolling be given a second thought, but when Newcastle is involved, anything is on the table, up to and including a steel chair to the back of the head. At this rate, it won't be long before even Lee Ryder turns heel and starts growing a black beard.