Bournemouth Echo banned from local club

Reporters from The Bournemouth Echo were turned away from Dean Court ahead of AFC Bournemouth’s League One game with Brentford on Tuesday night.

The 112-year-old daily title was earlier in the week informed of a ban from post-match press conferences. Press procedures have become increasingly strict after the Echo reported chairman Eddie Mitchell’s September 2011 post-match on-pitch rant-in which he challenged fans who were calling for his head.

A comment piece penned for the next edition by Echo sports reporter Neil Perrett said Mitchell’s credibility was at “an all-time low”.

Then in February the title exposed a half-time changing room visit from co-owner Maxim Demin’s wife – which kick-started a chain of events that resulted in Mitchell swearing three times on BBC Radio 5 Live’s 606 show.

Last week the newspaper was contacted by Bournemouth manager Lee Bradbury, who was upset at the paper’s back-page lead headlined “Immature” – despite the fact he had labelled his players immature following their 3-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

The Echo labelled the ban “a crying shame”.

The Echo carried news of the ban in a front-page editorial headlined ‘Banned.’ It said: ‘The Echo was yesterday informed, just four hours before kick-off against Brentford, that our reporters and photographers were no longer welcome at Seward Stadium.

‘The communication from Cherries media executive Max Fitzgerald brought to a head weeks of needless and childish screw-tightening by the football club that had initially started with Echo reporters being banned from asking questions in Lee Bradbury’s post-match press conferences.

‘Since becoming manager, Bradbury has taken it upon himself to make life increasingly difficult for our reporters.

‘It truly is a crying shame that it has come to this. The Echo, though, would like to wish the players and fans, both innocent parties in this pointless spat, all the very best for the rest of the season and beyond.”

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