Newcastle United manager Sir Bobby Robson has launched a stinging attack on The Sun’s chief soccer writer following a match report that claimed the club was rife with internal divisions among his players.
Robson was infuriated by Shaun Custis’s report on Newcastle’s 2-1 defeat by Manchester United on 23 August. He immediately took up the issue with the journalist’s superiors at Wapping before venting his spleen at a press conference last Friday.
“There was an article by some clever dick who came up here from London who does not know the scenario,” Robson said. “He said that there was internal bickering and that we needed four dressing rooms to separate the factions. That is ridiculous reporting. It’s not fair, it’s not accurate and it’s not true and you know that.
“You [reporters] can be dangerous by making comments about so-called internal strife. What is internal strife? Come and tell the players, they would like to know about it.”
London-based Custis, formerly Daily Express sports editor, was born and raised in the North East and, ironically, he happens to be a Newcastle United supporter.
“I spoke to The Sun sports editor as it happens,” Robson added: “The players said that they would like the journalist who wrote the article to come up and first of all show us the four dressing rooms that we need. “I told him they would like to talk to him in one of the dressing rooms, preferably with the door shut, so will you send him up please? He chickened out.
“Of course, this talk about factions irritates me because they don’t apply and I’m getting rather annoyed. “I just think that it’s a dangerous comment because it’s like a bush fire. One guy writes it, one guy reads it and then he writes it and it’s built on and then all of a sudden we have a bush fire so we’re trying to kill the bush fire with the sports editor.
“I have to do that to you from time to time. I have to say just be careful what you say. I’m not stupid.”
No one at The Sun sports desk was available to comment.