The manager of a League One football club has barred the Plymouth Herald from attending his interviews and pre-match press conferences following critical coverage of a “disappointing” draw last weekend.
The editor of the daily newspaper and its online newsbrand Plymouth Live said in an article that it has had its access restricted by Plymouth Argyle manager Derek Adams (pictured) as he is “unhappy at recent reports containing criticism from fans and a former player”.
Journalists at the Reach-owned titles are now banned from attending Adams’ interviews and press conferences, other than those he must fulfil under Football Association and English Football League regulations.
Editor Edd Moore said this means Herald staff can still attend post-match conferences, adding that he hopes the restrictions will be temporary.
Moore wrote: “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.”
Moore also hit back when Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer took Adams’ side on Twitter, writing: “The local MP doesn’t bother with them. The local football club doesn’t bother with them.
“Perhaps at some stage, they might grow up. Here’s hoping; we all want and need a good local media.”
Moore said in response: “About 100,000 people in Plymouth do [bother], every single day. We will continue to work for them – rather than for politicians or businesses – without fear or favour.”
Mercer has publicly feuded with the Herald previously, calling it the “biggest purveyor of fake news in Plymouth” last month.
He won thousands of pounds in damages from the newspaper last month after a letter from a reader claiming he had engaged in illegal election spending was “published in error”.
But Mercer did praise Chris Errington, who has covered Plymouth Argyle for the Herald since 1997. The MP tweeted: “Chris is a great guy. Genuinely.”
Press Gazette has contacted Mercer’s office and Argyle FC for comment.
In December the Bolton News’ chief football writer was banned from covering the town’s Championship side over a tweet.
His media access privileges were fully restored earlier this month, although the club’s chairman Ken Anderson said he had “no regrets whatsoever” about his decision.
Picture: Action Images/Paul Childs