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Newcastle United lifts 14-month ban on local press – but Telegraph journalists remain barred

By William Turvill

Newcastle United has lifted its ban on local sports journalists after more than a year. (Picture: Reuters)

But the club's ban on Telegraph journalists, imposed in September, still stands.

Journalists from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, The Journal and The Sunday Sun have been barred from the press box at Newcastle home games and press conferences since October 2013.

The ban was imposed after the papers covered a fan protest against owner Mike Ashley.

Trinity Mirror north-east editor-in-chief Darren Thwaites said: “We’re pleased Newcastle United have restored media access for our titles after resolving our differences in recent talks.

“The club fully respects that our coverage will remain independent. We wish United every success, as we always have, but we’ll also be critical if we feel it’s appropriate.”

The lifting of the ban, which Press Gazette understands includes no "terms and conditions", means the papers will be free to interview players and have normal press access.

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The newspapers have carried on covering the club's home matches, sending journalists in with normal tickets throughout the period.

The Telegraph was banned from Newcastle Untied for the second time in just over a year in September.

It was imposed after north-east football correspondent Luke Edwards wrote a story reporting that owner Ashley was willing to sell the club.

The club said: "This is disgraceful journalism for which the club and its supporters should receive a full and unreserved apology from those concerned."

Edwards and the Telegraph were previously banned by the club in May 2013 over reports of a "split dressing room".

This July, Edwards was among three north-east football correspondents to question the club's relationship with The Sun. It was suggested that the two organisations had entered into a "media partnership".

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