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Football coverage under threat in cutbacks as two more sports writers are axed

Football coverage at Reach plc-owned titles is being scaled back as part of the group’s current round of cutbacks with two more football writers announcing their posts have been axed.

HTFP previously revealed that Huddersfield Town reporter Steven Chicken had been told his role at Yorkshire Live and print title The Examiner was to be cut as part of the 450 UK-wide redundancies announced by Reach earlier this month.

Now it has emerged that both Sheffield clubs will also lose their dedicated Yorkshire Live reporters even though one of them is currently in the Premier League.

Nathan Hemmingham, who covers Premier League side Sheffield United and his colleague Ricky Charlesworth, who reports on Steel City rivals Sheffield Wednesday, both revealed their departures on the social media platform ‘X’.

Reach has so far declined to comment on the changes or say whether other club football coverage could be similarly affected.

However Nathan said that United was one of “many” clubs whose reporters were going as part of the cuts, raising concerns that other clubs in the Yorkshire Live catchment area, such as Leeds United and Hull City, could also lose their coverage.

Nathan Hemmingham, pictured while on tour with Sheffield United last summer, has seen his role covering the Premier League club with Yorkshire Live axed.

Nathan, pictured above left while on tour with Sheffield United last summer, covered his final Blades game on Saturday as they faced Bournemouth at Bramall Lane.

His post on ‘X’ read: “Sadly my time at Reach is coming to an end after 11 and half years – United among the many clubs and roles going as part of the latest round of cuts.

“Has been a labour of love and a real honour to cover my team and meet so many wonderful people behind the scenes who are doing an amazing job for this football club.

“Like all clubs it’s not without its challenges but I can honestly say it’s the best I have covered in my career for so many reasons – Saturday will be my final game, thanks to all those who read, supported and engaged over the years – UTB”

Ricky started working at Yorkshire Live when it launched in 2020 and also worked at the Mirror as Football League writer before taking on his dream job of covering favourite team Sheffield Wednesday.

Following their fortunes both home and away for the digital-only audience, Ricky was at Wembley last May to see the Owls gain promotion to the Championship via the play-offs and even went on the club’s pre-season tour to Spain.

His ’X’ post read: “As part of the big changes at Reach, coverage of #SWFC is being dropped as of December & my role is one of many being made redundant.

“It’s only been a year but have loved covering MY club, with that day at Wembley a career highlight. Just two more games left to cover. UTO.”

Yorkshire Live's Sheffield Wednesday reporter Ricky Charlesworth is pictured second from left talking to Sky Sports before a recent match at Hillsborough.

Yorkshire Live’s Sheffield Wednesday reporter Ricky Charlesworth pictured second from left talking to Sky Sports before a recent match at Hillsborough.

The reductions in football coverage are the latest cutbacks to emerge following the announcement of the 450 job losses, which will see the loss of 320 editorial roles.

As reported by HTFP last week, it will also mean the closure of 13 of Reach’s network of ‘Live’ websites, with entire teams of journalists being made redundant in some areas.

The company’s Bristol office closed on Friday with its Newcastle base due to shut its doors in January.

And one reporter, Corey Bedford, revealed he had opted to take redundancy for the sake of his mental health after his job at the Leicester Mercury was put at risk for the third time in the space of a year.