By Tony Attwood
Between 2004 and 2011 Sir Alex Ferguson refused to talk to the BBC, after the Corporation ran a story about his son Jason. It was just one of a series of spats that the man had during his career, and one of a series of occasions when football clubs and the people within them have banned journalists, or refused “co-operation”.
At other times Sam Allardyce when at Newcastle and Harry Redknapp when at Portsmouth decided they would not want to have anything to do with the BBC, largely because of their pesky questions about agents and the signing of players.
Which seems to reveal a sort of schizophrenic attitude on the newspaper’s side – you can make fun of foreign football affairs but you can’t make fun of the media, nor can you reveal too much about clubs. And it is even more interesting when you combine this with the fact that when a club decides to ban a journalist for saying something they don’t like, journalists and the media in general don’t say, “right that’s it, if you want to censor what we write and say, then it is a case of ‘one out all out’,” (as we used to say in the old days).
So the media allows itself to be pushed into kow-towing to the clubs is a good thing, because it gives the blogs a chance to set out information that simply isn’t found elsewhere, because the media is to scared to run it. (I am of course thinking of Untold here – but more on that in a moment).
The Rangers tax case is a case in point where the bloggers really did take up an issue that the media ignored – presumably because they didn’t want their main source of stories cut off. (Although just to put a bit of balance in this Scottish thing I understand that Celtic have also banned reporters from time to time and again the media has not clubbed together to protest).
Apparently in Scotland they also have some press conferences at which questions are not allowed, apparently, and no one argues with that.
The media does of course have a huge amount of power in this. If a club bans a journalist or a paper, all the papers, indeed all the media, could just ignore the club.
Why not? Well I suppose because they don’t want to have readers turning away because they can’t read about a certain club. Except almost certainly they would not do this. They would not turn away in their billions, because whatever club you take, most football fans don’t like that club.
Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv
So, to give an imaginary example. Newcastle United ban the Telegraph. The Telegraph then in retaliation runs a series of stories about the Newcastle United no one knows.
Since most football fans are not Newcastle fans, they would read this, and enjoy it. It would at least show Newcastle that banning a journalist for writing about some disagreement within the club between players, isn’t worth it.
I must say that if there were a decision by the united media not to cover Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester United, Celtic, Rangers and anyone else who banned individuals or whole media organisations, the football pages of the papers and the discussions within radio and TV stations, would be much more fun. As it was there was no solidarity and instead Newcastle then went on to ban the Sun also.
- Arsenal have the money, but who is to be purchased?
- Match Review: Phil Dowd – Arsenal Vs Manchester United (1 – 1) [28/04/2013]
- PGMOL is breaking its own rules by appointing Dean. Do we smell the stench of calciopoli?
The most detailed study of Premier League Refs ever:The referees 2013.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Royal Arsenal: from the Common to the Manor. Coming next.