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Football manager bars regional daily over critical stories

Derek AdamsA football manager has barred a regional daily’s journalists from his interviews and press conferences after it covered criticism of him by supporters and a former player.

The Plymouth Herald and its Plymouth Live sister website have been informed by Plymouth Argyle FC that they will no longer be able to speak to Derek Adams at his pre-match press conferences and other interviews.

Plymouth Live says it understands Mr Adams, pictured, has taken issue with two recent articles criticising his match tactics and player recruitment.

Argyle have made no official comment, but have stressed that the restriction applies to Mr Adams only and not to players or other club staff – while no other media are affected.

In a message to readers, Plymouth Live editor Edd Moore said: “As the largest and leading independent media outlet for all Argyle-related news and views, we pride ourselves on our unrivalled coverage of the club we all so passionately support.

“Our readers rightly expect extensive pre-match coverage, including interviews with the manager. We are sorry we are being blocked from bringing you this. The decision is out of our hands but we hope the restriction will be temporary.

“Plymouth Live remains committed to reporting on Argyle with balance, emotion and most importantly independence. Like all fans, we celebrate when the team win and we hurt when they lose.

“We make no apologies for representing the supporters when they are frustrated. We make no apologies either for, two weeks earlier, representing the supporters when they were radiant in their praise of the team and hailing the manager’s ‘tactical masterclass’.”

The row follows a report on Plymouth Live on the fans’ reaction following Argyle’s 2-2 home draw against Bristol Rovers, in which the visitors had scored a 91st minute goal to level the score.

Last week the site also ran an interview with former player Daniel Nardiello, who made four brief substitute appearances for Argyle in 2016, in which he questioned whether Mr Adams had researched him thoroughly enough before signing him.

Added Edd: “We believe the fans have every right to know why [Mr Nardiello] believes his period at Home Park was so fruitless.

“His comments have evidently upset the Argyle manager, who has never fully explained his reasoning for leaving the striker out in the cold at Home Park [Argyle’s home ground]. He is of course welcome to set the record straight on this website if he wishes.”

The Herald and Plymouth Live will still be able to attend post-match press conferences, which Mr Adams is obliged to fulfil under Football Association and English Football League regulations.

HTFP has approached Plymouth Argyle for a comment.

3 comments

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  • March 29, 2019 at 10:14 am
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    A man under pressure, obviously. Next step is a chairman’s vote of “confidence”.

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  • March 29, 2019 at 10:16 am
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    Presumably the manager was asked for a response to Nardiello’s whinge before the article was published? Interesting general legal point about sport that a legal eagle might answer. Is it libellous to accuse a football manager of being incompetent. If he or she was a company director or a doctor he or she might sue.

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  • March 29, 2019 at 4:24 pm
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    @paperbopy. Not necessarily re being sued. You can get around it by claiming there aren those who “think he is incompetent” because of such and such a decision. As for football managers these days – what is the matter with them? Have they joined the snowflake brigade that pony “correct” stories must be printed. I may be cynical but I suspect the chairman/board have put pressure on him to bar the hacks. Managers of old must be turning in their grave. Even in more modern times top managers accepted there were going to be good days/bad days when it came to the media.

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