Kinnear left his job as football director on Monday night.
The Daily Mail says on Saturday afternoon, following their third successive derby defeat by Sunderland, players refused to appear for the traditional Man of the Match award ceremony in a sponsors' lounge.
When the message from the boardroom came that a player or member of the coaching staff had to appear in their stead, the reply was 'send Joe Kinnear'.
But the director of football, who had been verbally abused, along with Ashley, during the 3-0 home defeat, was not even at the ground.
As a result of the stand-off, Newcastle ambassador and former captain Bob Moncur stepped in to appease sponsors for the event.
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