Grimsby Telegraph football writer Stuart Rowson has been banned from dealing with Grimsby Town FC.
The club made the move hours before the club’s last home match – in the wake of the newspaper’s reports of how a matchday ambulance had been scrapped at Blundell park in a bid to save £360 a match.
The newspaper has been hoping to prompt a lifting of the ban without success. The club has invited the editor, Michelle Lalor, to discuss “inaccuracies” in the story but the paper will not meet until Stuart’s press rights to home games are restored.
He covered Friday evening’s away game against Hartlepool but the position for tomorrow evening’s match at home remains unclear.
Michelle has backed her reporter, saying a retraction will be published if the inaccuracies are proved.
She said: “We’re shocked by the club’s decision to ban Stuart Rowson. We cannot understand why it would take this course of action.
“Stuart is at the forefront of bringing Grimsby Town news to Grimsby Town fans and covers every level of the club to achieve that aim.
“We have asked the club to lift the ban this week, but it has declined. Because of that, our coverage of the club has suffered, but we are determined to keep the fans informed.”
The ban was unexpected, partly because of the large number of column inches devoted to supporting the club and its activities.
Most recently, the coverage has concentrated on the Telegraph’s share issue campaign, led partly by Stuart, which helped raise £76,000 for the cash-strapped club.
And despite the club’s relegation to Division Two, the Telegraph has introduced an eight-page Matchday supplement on Fridays and more post-match coverage. Every week, the Sports Telegraph carries up to eight pages of news from Blundell Park.
As a result of the ban, the Telegraph has not run the column of new fans’ hero Marcel Cas.
Grimsby Town chairman Peter Furneaux declined to comment to the Telegraph, preferring instead to wait until a meeting with Telegraph bosses.
Read what the Telegraph had to say on the press box ban.
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