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The Gazette refuses press passes for Middlesbrough FC home matches as stand-off over club’s ‘ban’ on two of its reporters continues

By Freddy Mayhew

The Gazette newspaper has said it will not use press facilities to cover Middlesbrough FC home games as its stand-off with the club over apparent reporting restrictions placed on two of its journalists continues.

The Teesside title said it had been told by the championship club that journalist Dominic Shaw had been denied media accreditation for a friendly game against German side Augsburg on Saturday.

“The Gazette therefore declined an invitation for another reporter who was given permission to cover the game from the club ‘s press facilities,” the paper said on its website Gazette Live.

“The club has now made it clear Shaw and [journalist] Jonathon Taylor are effectively denied media access to home first team and under-23 fixtures, along with press conferences at Rockliffe Park.”

The Trinity Mirror-owned Gazette claims that “no proper explanation” has been given by the club for the restrictions placed on its reporters.

It said: “It is with deep regret that The Gazette is in this position. But as it stands we will not interview the manager and players or take up press passes for our writers for home games.

“We hope the matter can be resolved as soon as possible and will continue to provide news, comment and analysis on the club in the meantime. We wish the club every success in the coming season.”

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Two Gazette reporters did attend the match at the club’s Riverside Stadium, but neither used the press box or media room facilities to report. The game was covered online in a live blog on Gazette Live.

This latest move by the title comes less than two weeks after it applied a self-imposed ban on interviews with Middlesbrough FC players and new manager Garry Monk.

It followed the club’s apparent claim that sports writer Shaw was “not welcome” to interview Monk following a friendly match.

Another reporter was allowed to carry out the interview, The Gazette has said, but it took the decision not to run the piece.

The Gazette said these restrictions on access followed an earlier decision in June not to allow Shaw and football writer Taylor to attend an earlier event with manager Monk.

Middlesbrough FC has yet to respond to Press Gazette’s request for comment.

Picture: Reuters/Phil Noble/Livepic

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