National newspapers received a nasty shock this week when they were notified of Newcastle United’s intention to begin charging journalists for access to the team’s playing staff.

According to this morning’s edition of the Journal the club are offering a series of packages to media outlets who will now have to stump up if they want to interview stars such as Yohan Cabaye in between match days.

As the Daily Telegraph’s Luke Edwards revealed earlier this year the club have wanted to charge newspapers for the privilege of covering games for quite some time. It now looks as if the criticism that followed Newcastle’s decision to ban NCJ Media has hastened the implementation of this particular attempt to monetise and, more importantly, control coverage of the club. Early indications suggest that media outlets will not take Newcastle United up on their offer.

It remains to be seen whether Sports Direct News, the media arm of Mike Ashley’s retail empire, will also be required to pay for access.

Update: A spokesperson for Newcastle United has told The Drum that the story is “nonsense”.