Newcastle United players refuse to co-operate with media in bonus dispute

Rafael Benitez
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has called for the club to invest more in new signings

Newcastle United players are refusing to co-operate with the media in a dispute with the club over bonuses.

Players did not make themselves available to rights holders on Monday for 'walk-up shots' which are used by TV companies when showing starting line-ups before matches.

And the Magpies squad refused to carry out post-match interviews after two recent pre-season friendly defeats.

Newcastle start their Premier League campaign at home to Spurs on Saturday.

Players declined to speak after last Saturday's 1-0 home loss to FC Augsburg and the 4-0 hammering at Braga on Wednesday.

It is understood they have failed to reach agreement with club owner Mike Ashley over performance-related bonuses.

After the Braga defeat, Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez said the club's fans "need to be concerned".

"Things are not going well off the pitch and you can see a reflection of that on the pitch," he said.

Players have indicated the dispute is with the club and is "nothing personal" towards the media.

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