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Football club brands weekly ‘yesterday’s news’ as it cuts ties with paper

A non-league football club has ceased dealing with its local weekly newspaper after branding it “redundant” and “yesterday’s news.”

Boreham Wood FC has hit out at the Borehamwood & Elstree Times in a strongly-worded statement on its website headed ‘Club calls time on local paper.”

The club said it made the decision after the Times’s sports editor told them the paper no longer had the resources to cover the club owing to its “chronic” financial state.

However, the paper’s editor, Tim Jones, has described the club’s claims as “inaccurate”, saying the Newsquest-owned title continues to provide the same “dedicated coverage” as previously.

Boreham Wood (in white) playing against Chester in April this year

Boreham Wood (in white) playing against Chester in April this year

Boreham Wood currently ply their trade in the National League, the fifth highest level of English football.

The club claims the Times seems “far more interested” in other less local teams including Premier League side Watford, Football League team Barnet, and St Albans City, who play in the division below Boreham Wood.

Its statement says: “We feel, as the highest placed non-league club throughout Hertfordshire that the paper could do more but we have to now move on and for us they are now yesterday’s news.

“For many years, we have tried to help them by providing our own reporters and quite often even a photographer. We have had to almost beg them though to agree contra deals, so we could pay these people a couple of quid in expenses.

“It’s fair to say though, it’s not our job to do their sports reporting and we are happy for them to continue to take our reports, regurgitate them as their own, while never attending a game, as that’s how they now choose to work.

“With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, plus other social media mediums, there is now a clamour for instant news, and the reality is that the internet gives us that. As such it now perhaps leaves the once much loved weekly local newspaper redundant?

“We fondly recall the time that the Borehamwood Post and then Times, served its local community and its sporting clubs very well. Unfortunately that time has now long since passed.”

The club says that in future it will attempt to provide information through a “better run” website and have plans to create a channel offering videos of match highlights and interviews.

Tim Jones, Newsquest North London group editor, responded: “The Borehamwood Times has long been a loyal supporter of Boreham Wood Football Club.

“Contrary to the inaccurate statement made by the club, we continue to provide the same dedicated coverage that we have in recent years, both in print and online.”

Last year Boreham Wood was involved in controversy with another regional press title, after Portsmouth-based daily The News criticised the club’s press accreditation policy.

The News’s reporter had to pay for entry to their ground after only two press passes were given to the away club he was covering, Havant & Waterlooville, which were given to that team’s own media staff.

6 comments

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  • November 23, 2016 at 10:54 am
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    Yet another example of how the American owned Newsquest is killing off British weekly papers

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  • November 23, 2016 at 10:57 am
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    Does providing “the same dedicated coverage” ever include sending a reporter to matches? The club’s statement implies no. I’d be interested to know what this phrase actually means in practice,

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  • November 23, 2016 at 11:30 am
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    Having had a quick scan of the paper’s website, they have published 16 stories over the past 7 weeks on the club. For a club that attracts a few hundred fans a week that doesn’t seem to leave them too short-changed?

    Or have I missed something?

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  • November 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm
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    For NQ read JP TM and others.

    Weeklies rely on clubs sending in own highly subjective reports and even pictures. My local club, playing in senior football, has not seen a sports reporter dedicated to the area for three or more years despite JP and NQ allegedly covering the area.
    Result: Biased reporting1 Objective reporting 0. The fans know it.

    At the least the sports ed appears to have been honest. I fear a red card though.

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  • November 24, 2016 at 10:15 am
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    Perhaps newspapers should put their own house in order first.
    I am looking at the sports pages of my local JP weekly, but it could any.
    Ii is obvious that no-one edits this properly before it goes to print.
    There are headings and reports that give no idea of the sport being played, let alone the league. There is a rugby report where the score does not appear in the heading or anywhere in the copy. Another mentions a team’s nickname but does not say its real name or where it is from. A report on a cup final does not say where it was played. The reports are full of grammar mistakes and every one needs a re-write of some kind or another. It all looks as if material is dropped on the page without even being read.
    I don’t blame the staff; they probably have not even got a local sports editor. But newspaper bosses should ensure they have enough expertise on their “subbing” desks. It all looks so shoddy. Sports pages do not have to be the poor relations. A lot of people read them.

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