Fans call on Swindon Town to end Adver ban

This Is Wiltshire: Sam Morshead waits outside the ground for Swindon Town fans before their trip to Stevenage Sam Morshead waits outside the ground for Swindon Town fans before their trip to Stevenage

Swindon Town fans have called on chairman Lee Power to end the ban on the Adver from reporting at the County Ground .

On Monday morning the owner, who has been in charge for just over six weeks, moved to ban the paper after objecting to a Tweet by reporter Sam Morshead.

The Adver’s chief sports writer Tweeted the news that striker Nile Ranger was in the team to play Peterborough United at the County Ground on Saturday at 1.15pm – 45 minutes before the team sheets were handed to match officials.

The reporter Tweeted the information after seeing a Tweet by fan Daniel Hunt, who had photographed Ranger’s shirt hanging in the dressing room during a pre-match tour of the ground at 12.30pm.

Robins fans have voiced their concerns over the chairman’s decision and many do not expect the ban to last for long.

Before boarding the bus to Stevenage for Town’s away match last night, Kevin O’Shea, 63, of Pinehurst, said: “They should get together because we need the Adver in there reporting. Hopefully it will be sorted before the next home match.

“I suppose, in a way, you can see both sides. But you just hope Lee sees sense and lifts this ban. It’s silly.”

Tony Silk, another supporter on the bus, said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. How can this ban happen? The supporters need daily news from the club.”

Isaac Chandler, 18, of Lawn, said: “It’s ridiculous, to be honest.

“The people at the match would have seen him (Nile Ranger) warming up before the match anyway.”

Will Harris, 17, of Lawn, said: “It’s a massive overreaction. I am supporting the Adver. I hope the ban doesn’t last long.”

Roger Bunce, 67, chairman of Swindon Town Supporters Club, said: “It was a shock really.

“He’s (Lee’s) a manager and he wants the best for our football club. He probably thinks that is the best for the club.

“Sam was doing his job as he saw it. I quite enjoy reading his stuff, so it will be quite difficult for us as fans to stop having that to read.

“People do want to see what’s happening at the club, and we need the Adver for that.

“What worries me is that Lee’s actually gone and done this. The supporters don’t know what’s happening.”

North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has been lobbying the club to end the ban for the good of the fans.

He met with director Sangita Shah in London yesterday.

“This is utter madness,” he said. “The Adver does more than anyone to promote Swindon Town Football Club.

“I will be making it clear to the board of the club this is madness and, frankly, the football club is cutting off its nose to spite its own face.

“Over the years the Swindon Advertiser has always been a supportive friend, not afraid to challenge, but always on the side of the football club.

“My biggest concern is the blow to the fans, who really need their daily updates from the Adver.”

  • A poll on whether the ban was just is on swindonadvertiser.co.uk

WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES

Town chairman Lee Power is not the first club boss to introduce censorship of the local media.

A host of clubs from the Premier League and the Football League have had falling outs with their local papers, including Newcastle United, who banned three local titles.

It upheld its ban on The Chronicle, The Journal and Sunday Sun at a fans’ forum last week. The ban has been in place since last October when the titles were adjudged to have been promoting an anti-Newcastle United message.

Reporters and photographers from Southampton’s Southern Daily Echo have been banned from St Mary’s Stadium since 2010.

Since last August, Nottingham Forest has limited all media access. Players are not permitted to speak to the press before or after matches.

In November last year, the Rotherham Advertiser published a front page story about a kit shortage that prevented a six-year-old being a mascot for Rotherham United. The club withdrew “privileged access”.

Port Vale also banned local paper The Sentinel last October over a question its sports reporter asked about delays in deliveries of special replica kits.

Comments (5)

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9:17am Wed 15 Jan 14

BigBarry says...

What a ridiculous one sided and argumentative article, what does it achieve other than to further damage relations? Perhaps the club should not of been so quick to ban the advertiser, but as this article has chosen to ignore the paper is not blameless in this situation either, and this is about a breach of trust and a lack of respect. Morshead agreed not to say anything about Ranger until the team sheet came out and then went back on his word, and then refused to offer an apology which would have been the end of the matter. He has clearly undermined the trust and respect the club offered him, and then rather than trying to resolve this matter quietly and professionally the advertiser are using story’s like this to bear bait the club, all because a reporter with a very large ego is not man enough to accept his mistake and offer an apology.
What a ridiculous one sided and argumentative article, what does it achieve other than to further damage relations? Perhaps the club should not of been so quick to ban the advertiser, but as this article has chosen to ignore the paper is not blameless in this situation either, and this is about a breach of trust and a lack of respect. Morshead agreed not to say anything about Ranger until the team sheet came out and then went back on his word, and then refused to offer an apology which would have been the end of the matter. He has clearly undermined the trust and respect the club offered him, and then rather than trying to resolve this matter quietly and professionally the advertiser are using story’s like this to bear bait the club, all because a reporter with a very large ego is not man enough to accept his mistake and offer an apology. BigBarry

10:11am Wed 15 Jan 14

Morsey says...

Odd really, I think the poll showed only a slight percentage against the ban for most of the day ... not really conclusive, but a silly argument all the same turning down all that free advertising of matches prior to them taking place!
Odd really, I think the poll showed only a slight percentage against the ban for most of the day ... not really conclusive, but a silly argument all the same turning down all that free advertising of matches prior to them taking place! Morsey

12:34pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Oldswindonian says...

All that brown nosing by Sam Morshead over the past few years has done him no good at all then!
All that brown nosing by Sam Morshead over the past few years has done him no good at all then! Oldswindonian

5:37pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Wildwestener says...

Childish all round
Childish all round Wildwestener

7:31pm Wed 15 Jan 14

candlestrobe says...

Message to the Editor:

1) You allow slander, unfounded rumour and full-on abuse against club individuals to take place on this, your website almost daily

2) Twitter is not fully a public domain and this was clearly an attempt at scooping other media outlets.

3) Your reporter has featured and maintained stories based on unfounded heresay regarding the signing of players and transfer activity. Even when information 'in the public domain' counteracted these.

4) Maintaining that a reporter does not officially represent the Adver in tweets is naive in the extreme.

5) Allowing stories and leaks from the county ground to appear here from mysterious sources, but not investigating or reporting on them might lead some to suspect they come from a local media source.

5) This paper and its sports reporter pretty much rely on BBC Wiltshire interviews for most of your quotes anyway.

6) Running 'this reporter understands' headlines has probably undermined several potential signings

So, if you're reading this Mr Editor, I suggest you pay a bit more attention to the footbal forums here and monitor your local sports coverage a bit more closely.
Message to the Editor: 1) You allow slander, unfounded rumour and full-on abuse against club individuals to take place on this, your website almost daily 2) Twitter is not fully a public domain and this was clearly an attempt at scooping other media outlets. 3) Your reporter has featured and maintained stories based on unfounded heresay regarding the signing of players and transfer activity. Even when information 'in the public domain' counteracted these. 4) Maintaining that a reporter does not officially represent the Adver in tweets is naive in the extreme. 5) Allowing stories and leaks from the county ground to appear here from mysterious sources, but not investigating or reporting on them might lead some to suspect they come from a local media source. 5) This paper and its sports reporter pretty much rely on BBC Wiltshire interviews for most of your quotes anyway. 6) Running 'this reporter understands' headlines has probably undermined several potential signings So, if you're reading this Mr Editor, I suggest you pay a bit more attention to the footbal forums here and monitor your local sports coverage a bit more closely. candlestrobe

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