AddThis SmartLayers

Football club lifts ban on regional daily despite ‘ongoing battles’ with media

Marc IlesA football club’s ban on a regional daily has been lifted despite what its chairman has described as “ongoing battles” with the media.

HTFP reported in December how Bolton News chief football writer Marc Iles, pictured, had been banned from Bolton Wanderers’ University of Bolton Stadium by chairman Ken Anderson.

The ban was imposed after Marc, pictured, posted a tweet about a player pay dispute which made light-hearted reference to the film The Muppet Christmas Carol.

However, Mr Anderson has now confirmed the restrictions have been lifted, although a statement, published on the club’s website, nevertheless remained critical of recent press coverage about the club.

Referring to “ongoing battles” with the media, he claimed he had “no regrets whatsoever” and said there had been unfair criticism of Wanderers’ team management and the academy.

Mr Anderson wrote: “I suppose it helps sell newspapers and keeps journalists in the limelight. As regards [readers’] letters being printed, I have no problem with these, as I fully understand the sentiments being expressed. Even if some of the comments are not accurate, I put this down to them expressing what they have read or heard.

“Indeed, I do believe that the media and social media have played a major part in influencing and promoting the recent fan protests, which together with the recent vile, abusive and threatening comments posted on social media towards me and my family and then in January, the police advising me that it might not be safe for us to attend home or away matches have made me reappraise whether for the sake of my family and our safety I should continue to be involved with the club.

“Despite all of this, I have decided to reinstate all media privileges with immediate effect.”

Mr Anderson also confirmed that a process to sell the club is now in its advanced stages but said he could not reveal details because he is restricted by Non-Disclosure Agreements and confidentiality clauses.

He added: “It has been well debated what the alternatives were if the takeover did not take place and I am told the potential repercussions of this for the club were discussed in detail some weeks ago in a recent radio forum, as well as in the local media and social media, and the overwhelming view was the sooner I go the better, as was made very clear for everyone to see at the West Bromwich Albion game and in recent comments/articles by Neil Bonnar, sports editor at the Bolton News, who certainly made his opinions clear about me going as has Marc Iles, who regularly says ‘Enough is enough’.”

HTFP has approached the News for a comment.