Swindon Town has become the latest club to ban a local newspaper from the ground after a reporter revealed Nile Ranger’s shirt was hanging up in the dressing room.
The paper’s chief sports writer Sam Morshead Tweeted at 1:16pm on Saturday 11th January 2014 – a full 45 minutes before the squads are officially announced – that he understood Ranger would be in Swindon’s line-up. Town chairman Lee Power claimed that their opponents Peteborough United had changed their team as a result.
It's my understanding that Nile Ranger will be involved in today's game after #stfc changed their minds about terminating his contract.
— Sam Morshead (@SamMorshead_SA) January 11, 2014
It’d be interesting to hear Peterborough’s side of things – particularly whether or not it did impact their choice of team. What’s unfortunate in this instance is that another local paper has been banned from attending their team’s ground. With the Swindon Advertiser though, the decision is made slightly more interesting as the paper is a commercial sponsor of the club and has been for some time.
While a decision from the paper regarding whether they’ll continue to sponsor the club and advertise within the ground is yet to be announced, they have claimed they’ll still be attending fixtures and will stand by the club despite being barred from attending in an official capacity.
The most high profile club to take the step of banning journalists in recent times is Newcastle United, who have stopped representatives from NCJ Media asking questions at press conferences and using the club’s media facilities. It’s quite unfortunate that it’s also an ex-Newcastle player’s conduct that has had a big influence over the current situation at Swindon.