Swindon Advertiser Banned by Local Football Club

The Swindon Advertiser has been banned from Swindon Town press conferences for the second time by the club.   

Chief sports writer Tom Bassam was refused entry to the regular twice-weekly press call with manager Mark Cooper and a Town player at the County Ground, with club officials stating it was at the request of chairman Lee Power, the Advertiser reported.

The Advertiser understands that they will still be permitted by the club to attend matches at the County Ground. The paper was banned by the club a year ago over a tweet posted by one of its reporters.

Advertiser editor Gary Lawrence said: “This morning’s action is the regrettable culmination of weeks of a near-total lack of co-operation from Swindon Town towards the Swindon Advertiser and is not only disappointing, but ultimately self-defeating.

“As is our standard practice with stories published by the Swindon Advertiser in relation to Swindon Town, club officials have been asked for their observations, comments or reaction by our journalists along every step of the way.

“For reasons known only to itself, the club has either rejected the opportunity to respond, which is of course its prerogative, or, in more recent times, refused to acknowledge or completely ignored approaches made by the Advertiser.

“I remain disappointed and upset for our hard-working staff, readers and Town fans that the chairman has been unable to give me an explanation for the ban or even attempted to find a solution.

“We can all speculate as to the reasons for the club’s displeasure, but given that a variety of issues regarding Swindon Town have been reported on across a variety of media outlets in recent times, it would appear this latest action is purely arbitrary.

“With the club riding high at the top of the league and the club hopeful that people will become genuinely engaged with their fortunes, it seems bizarre that the club wish to cut off its main route for ‘spreading its message’ through not only Swindon but beyond into wider Wiltshire via the Advertiser’s sister paper.

“As has been made clear to STFC on countless occasions, the Advertiser remains ready to meet with club officials to discuss the apparent source of their unhappiness and plot the best route forward. Up to this point, the club appears unwilling to engage in any sort of sensible, rational and reasoned discussion.

“In the meantime, the Adver and its staff remain committed to reporting the highs and lows of the football club fairly and from all sides, as it has throughout its long history. This will not affect the excellent daily coverage we bring our readers of the club both in print and online. Nor will it stop us continuing as a club sponsor.”