London, Aug 7: Newcastle United's players have reportedly gone on strike over media bonuses as they struggle to reach an agreement on with the club owner Mike Ashley.
The Toons' squad during their recent pre-season friendlies against Braga and Augsburg refused to interact with the media. It has also been reported that the entire squad snubbed the chance to appear in front of Premier League's broadcaster Sky Sports' formation graphics.
The shoot had been set up to gather walk up footage to be used when displaying team lineups as part of pre-match broadcasts but despite being contractually obliged to do so the whole choose to ignore the process.
It is believed that the squad are protesting against the bonus payments of this season.
Last season, the squad reportedly agreed to receive £4million if the club stayed in the Premier League and an extra £1m for every spot above 17th. Owner Mike Ashley also reportedly offered them a £20m bonus if they won the FA Cup last season.
Although they crashed out to Chelsea in the fourth round in the FA Cup they managed to remain in the Premier League and even finished 10th in the league surprising everyone.
However, this season, Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley reportedly have not agreed to an incentivised package with the squad for the 2018-19 season plus a huge cup bonus is not believed to be an option.
Newcastle United’s players have withdrawn cooperation with the media as part of a dispute with the club over bonuses for the upcoming season. The players refused to give their time for “walk up” shots for TV companies at the training ground today.— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) August 6, 2018
The Newcastle team is reportedly protesting against this proposal and apparently has decided not to give any media presentation, including post-match chats with in-house channel nufcTV until the situation resolves.
Manager Rafael Benitez also recently confirmed his player's stance on the matter and suggested the situation is not healthy at the moment.
Speaking after their pre-seasn's Augsburg match, he said: "I will tell you before the game against Braga, maybe it wasn’t.
“Today I will tell you yes. I think the players will tell you that our job is to perform on the pitch.
“I can’t complain about the players or the way they approached this game or we missed this pass or made mistakes.
“Their attitude is right now, and it has to be the same way for the whole season."
Newcastle kick-off their Premier League season at home to Tottenham on Saturday but now it remains to be seen if ahead of the game the situation ultimately settles or not.