Why Newcastle players refused to perform 'walk-up shots' when TV cameras arrived on Monday

It’s been an extremely difficult summer for Newcastle United.

Rafael Benitez has received very little backing from owner Mike Ashley in the transfer window, with Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto their most expensive signing at £9.5 million.

Compare that to promoted outfit Fulham, who spent £22m on Aleksandar Mitrovic and £18m on Jean Michael Seri.

Benitez deserved more backing after leading the club to 10th in the league last season.

It’s not just the manager who has been left in a difficult situation heading into the new campaign.

The players have been locked in a battle with Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley over bonuses for the 2018-19 season. With four days until their season opener, they’re yet to agree an incentivised deal based on performances.

Players have been left disappointed and they reacted by refusing to give media interviews following the defeats to SC Braga and Augsburg in pre-season.

Newcastle players ‘walk-up’ shots

Matters escalated on Monday when television journalists and camera operators visited Newcastle’s Benton Training Centre on Monday.

They were there to film the ‘walk-up shots’ that are shown on broadcasters, including Sky Sports and BT Sport, before matches.

But the players refused to show up, meaning no filming was done.

Per the Mirror, the players are putting Newcastle in breach of section K of rules, which details the access clubs must provide for rights holders.

The Magpies received £123m from TV contracts last season. The broadcasters consider the walk-up shots to be an important aspect of their matchday packages.

Benitez, despite his frustration over the lack of spending, did the filming required.

Sky Sports will need the situation to be settled as soon as possible – they will show Newcastle’s lunchtime kickoff against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

Newcastle’s players were in a similar situation this time last year.

Eventually, captain Jamaal Lascelles negotiated a bonus deal that the squad would share £4m if they avoided relegation to the Championship.

An additional £1m was paid out for every position they finished above 17th, meaning the squad shared around £11m in total.

And a £20m payment was on offer if Newcastle won the FA Cup, but they exited the competition after a fourth-round loss to Chelsea.

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