Club reports papers to PCC over fan death coverage

Championship football side Cardiff City FC have reported The Sun, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail to the Press Complaints Commission over stories they published surrounding the death of Bluebirds fan Michael Dye at Wembley stadium last week.

A murder investigation was launched after Dye, 44, was found injured on Tuesday evening before England’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales and later died in hospital.

Six men were initially arrested in connection with his death but were all later released without charge. Today a 41-year-old man was due to appear at Redditch Magistrates’ Court after being charged with manslaughter.

Initial reports appeared to suggest Dye had been involved in a clash with fans of rival Welsh side Swansea City FC.

The Daily Mail reported that Dye wrote on a football forum that he was banned from attending matches in 1986 after a “pitch invasion and fisticuffs” at Peterborough, while The Sun reported that the victim was ‘closely associated with Cardiff City’s notorious ‘Soul Crew’ of trouble-seeking louts”.

Press Gazette understands the club has lodged complaints with the press watchdog under clauses one (accuracy) and five (intrusion into grief or shock) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, relating to articles published both online and in print.

A spokesperson for Cardiff City said that club officials were disappointed to read articles in which ‘insensitive and unfounded connections were drawn from the tragic events at Wembley Stadium”.

‘It is our opinion that The Daily Mirror, The Sun and the Daily Mail have acted insensitively towards the memory of Mike Dye at a time when his family are still in the early stages of mourning their loss,’the club said in a statement.

‘It is also our view that the tabloid attempts to draw tenuous connections of possible clashes between Cardiff City and Swansea City supporters at the Wales v England match come without any direct evidence or basis for doing so, using this as a means to cite ‘Rivalry fury’.”

The club felt this was ‘extremely disrespectful’to both clubs, adding: ‘The club have taken this matter up with the Press Complaints Commission and will be contacting the tabloids named directly in due course”.

On Saturday the club paid tribute to Dye before their home match against Doncaster – and The Sun agreed to a request by the club to withdraw its request to attend the game. No one from the Daily Mirror or the Daily Mail asked to attend the game.

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