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Sports journalist shares view from terraces after club ban

A sports journalist banished to the terraces over what a football club boss claimed were “silly season” transfer stories has written of his experience.

Rob Iles watched Monday’s Forest Green Rovers match with the club’s supporters after the Gloucestershire Echo and The Citizen, Gloucester, were barred from the press box.

As previously reported by HTFP, the sister dailies were issued with the ban after companion website Gloucestershire Live reported winger Elliott Frear was “close” to joining nearby league club Cheltenham Town before negotiations fell through at the last minute.

Forest Green, who play in the National League, English football’s fifth highest level, described the stories as “false,” adding: “Hopefully that’s the silly season over and CTFC and The Citizen will stop this nonsense now.”

Rob Iles

Rob, pictured above, wrote: “A one-game ban for The Citizen due to Forest Green’s unhappiness at transfer stories meant I was unable to take my usual place in the media seats in the main stand so I bought a ticket to join the Rovers fans behind the goal in the South Stand to see the game from a different perspective and soak in the atmosphere.

“I may not have had a seat or a desk in front of me to put my laptop on but I had more leg room than usual on my naughty step and as kick-off arrived I was ready with my pen and notepad in hand, which is quite old-fashioned in the digital age of sports journalism when live blogs and social media mean there is often no need to take hand-written notes.”

The match against Southport resulted in a 5-1 win for Rovers, meaning they are now second in the National League table.

Rob concluded: “That was enough to send the Rovers fans home very happy indeed as they celebrated their short stay at the top of the table.

“And you can’t help but be entertained by this Forest Green side at the moment – even if you have to watch it from the naughty step.”