Bournemouth ban local paper for critical coverage


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The Independent Football

The Bournemouth Echo yesterday responded to a ban imposed upon it by its local club. The newspaper was not allowed to send reporters or photographers to Tuesday night's League One match between AFC Bournemouth and Brentford, after a series of disagreements with the club's management over the reporting of the governance and on-field performance of the club.

In a front-page editorial, under the headline "Banned", the newspaper said: "The Echo was yesterday informed, just four hours before kick-off against Brentford, that our reporters and photographers were no longer welcome at Seward Stadium. The communication from Cherries media executive Max Fitzgerald brought to a head weeks of needless and childish screw-tightening ... that had started with Echo reporters being banned from asking questions in [manager] Lee Bradbury's post-match press conferences."

The Press Gazette also reported the paper as saying: "It truly is a crying shame that it has come to this. The Echo, though, would like to wish the players and fans, both innocent parties in this pointless spat, all the very best for the rest of the season and beyond."

Speaking to the fans' website AFCB Vital, Fitzgerald said: "Communications have been – and continue to be – ongoing between both parties and I can reassure supporters that the club would like to find a resolution and work side by side with our local paper once more."