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Newspaper becomes ‘official partner’ of football club which banned it

A weekly newspaper has become the “official media partner” of a football club which banned it two years ago.

The Rotherham Advertiser has announced the deal with Rotherham United FC, with the dual aim of putting the town on the map in a “positive” way.

The deal will involve the Advertiser running the club’s player of the year awards, which the newspaper says will boost sales, and its United coverage being highlighted on the big screen at their New York Stadium home ground.

The paper was banned by United during the 2013-14 season after running a story about a kit shortage at the club which prevented a six-year-old being a match day mascot.

The Advertiser's logo featuring United's club crest

The Advertiser’s logo featuring United’s club crest

The Advertiser responded with a strongly worded front page story and inside spread pointing out that it had helped save the club, nicknamed ‘The Millers’, from extinction seven years ago.

The ban was lifted six weeks later.

Editor Andrew Mosley said: “Rotherham United and the Rotherham Advertiser both, by nature of what they do, put the town on the map on a scale that no other organisation can.

“The Millers’ achievements in rising through the divisions over the past few years have been charted week by week in the Advertiser and we have been with the club through thick and thin over the years, offering analysis, support and, when it has been warranted, criticism.

“Our relationship with the club has mainly been positive, but has had its difficulties in the past as has been well documented. Less than two years ago we were banned by the club and took a strong stance which eventually led to us being allowed back into the fold and to lessons being learned on both sides regarding the value of the relationship. We would not hesitate to do the same again, however, if a similar situation arose.

“We believe this media partner agreement cements our position as the number one point of call when it comes to finding out what is going on at Rotherham United and we are keen to focus on the community work the club carries out.”

The club will ply their trade in the Championship, English football’s second tier, this season.

Mark Hitchens, Rotherham United head of commercial, said: “I am delighted that we have agreed a new deal with the Rotherham Advertiser, who will become one of our official media partners.

“This is a deal which cements the great working relationship we have in place with them and I am looking forward to having them on board with us throughout the 2016/17.

“The club has successfully worked alongside the Advertiser for many years and I am sure that the relationship will continue to grow stronger as we embark on another campaign in the Sky Bet Championship.”

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