Regional weekly barred from attending football match because of ban on now-defunct sister title

Update: Less than two hours after this story was published, Gillingham decided to lift their ban on the Kent and Sussex Courier.

A newspaper has been barred from covering a football match because of a long-standing ban on its now-defunct sister title.

The Kent and Sussex Courier will not be able to cover the Tonbridge Angels’ Kent Cup match on Monday because they are playing away at Gillingham Football Club.

The newspaper has reported on how its head of sport Glenn Garrett was told he could not get press accreditation from Gillingham because the Medway News was banned in 2011.

The Courier was part of the South East portfolio of Northcliffe, which has now been taken over by Local World, along with the Medway News, which no longer exists.

The Medway title, which was printed for the last time in December 2011, was banned after it “speculated about Gillingham’s transfer dealings in the summer of 2011”. The Medway News used to sponsor the Gillingham shirt as the picture above, from 2001, shows.

Garrett said: “I was surprised when I received an email from the club informing me I would not be given media access to the game, a game that had already frustratingly been rescheduled at late notice.

“I was aware of a long-standing Medway News ban, but the fact the News no longer exists as a newspaper, and the Courier Media Group has not, in my ten years at the paper, been to a game at Priestfield, came as quite a shock.

“I have contacted the club, asking for that ban to be overturned and I await a response.”

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