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Daily says sorry to football club after Rod Stewart setlist dispute

NewIPSOA football club won an apology from a regional daily after a dispute over whether Rod Stewart was planning to sing one of his signature tunes at its stadium.

The Plymouth Herald said sorry to Plymouth Argyle FC after it reported a concert by the singer at Home Park had been cut short and claimed his last song was due to have been his 1972 number one hit ‘Sailing’.

The Herald reported Mr Stewart had finished the second to last song of his encore at around 10.30pm when the stage was “turned to darkness” and “to add to fans’ fury, his last song was We Are Sailing”.

The Herald also quoted a social media post which claimed the singer had been “called to the side of the stage [and] was told ‘the mayor says you have gone over your curfew'”.

Complaining under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, Argyle said the mayor was not in attendance and had not told the singer to leave, nor had the venue, while the concert reached its natural conclusion and finished at 10.38pm, which was after it was scheduled to finish.

The club added the Herald had reported as fact that the artist could not sing ‘Sailing’, but said this was unconfirmed and no setlist had been published.

Denying any breach of Code, the Herald provided a video where it said the singer could be heard saying: “We can’t do anymore because of the curfew.

“We were going to do [We are] Sailing but we can’t do it because the…the Lord Mayor’s here and he’s told me to shut the f*** up.”

The Herald said this corroborated the social media posts and therefore sufficient care was taken to report the disputed posts, while an established setlist website had published the setlist from the two previous shows, which showed that ‘Sailing’ was the last song.

The newspaper believed it was reasonable to rely on the information stated by the singer at his own concert, but published a correction confirming the Lord Mayor of Plymouth was not at the concert and that any decision as to why the concert ended before its licenced curfew time had nothing to do with the club.

In response, Argyle claimed the Herald had just made assumptions from social media posts online and had presented them as fact because the video used as evidence had been published after the story under complaint.

The Herald then offered to publish a further correction and apology confirming it was unclear as to why the concert ended when it did.

This resolved the matter to Argyle’s satisfaction and IPSO therefore discontinued its investigation.

The complaint was not upheld, and the full resolution statement can be read here.