The Croydon Advertiser has been banned from Crystal Palace Football Club for two weeks after it published what the club felt was an unbalanced story about one of its player’s involvement in a fight.
The paper ran a front page story on 11 January about Ryan Hall allegedly beating up a security guard at a five-a-side football game.
Palace manager Neil Warnock’s grievance was that the paper hadn’t used the club’s statement about the fracas in full.
Advertiser editor Ian Carter, who was on holiday when the piece was published, said: ‘The comment should have gone in, in full. It was subbed on deadline, and wasn’t subbed particularly sympathetically.
Unusually in these kinds of scenarios, I can slightly sympathise with his view. Neil’s point was that it didn’t give due balance to the story, and he didn’t want to condemn the player before he was found guilty.
‘Despite this situation, the relationship we have with Neil Warnock is far better than we enjoyed with the previous manager, Peter Taylor, who refused to write a column for us. We’ve had a long-standing agreement with Palace managers that they write a column for us.”
A club spokesman said: ‘Building up to putting the story in, the paper asked for a statement from our manager. It was about four paragraphs long (three paragraphs) and they only put the top paragraph in.
‘Our manager wasn’t happy, because it didn’t give his side of the story – he was fine with them doing it as a front page lead, and a page inside, but all he wanted to ask for was a balanced view.”