Swindon Town to meet editor over press ban which it says is 'in the best interests of supporters'

The Swindon Advertiser will hold crisis talks with Swindon Town FC after the club banned the newspaper from covering home games following a row over a tweet.

The Advertiser’s chief football writer Sam Morshead tweeted that striker Nile Ranger would be starting Saturday’s game versus Peterborough United 45 minutes before the team sheets had been handed over to match officials.

Morshead originally had the tip that the club had decided against terminating Ranger’s contract earlier in the week, but had been persuaded to keep quiet in the interests of the team.

However, a fan on a stadium tour in advance of Saturday’s game saw Ranger’s shirt in the dressing room and tweeted it to his followers.

This prompted Morshead to tweet the news himself incurring the wrath of Swindon Town’s chairman Lee Power.

The player also tweeted that he was going to be playing last Saturday before the team news was officially released.

The club said that they could not prevent The Advertiser from attending away fixtures, but told Morshead that the players and management would not answer any of his questions following last night’s 2-0 defeat to Stevenage Borough.

Sadly we have been told by #stfc that we will not be allowed to ask questions to manager Mark Cooper or the players tonight.

— Sam Morshead (@SamMorshead_SA) January 14, 2014

Matchday Live will carry the words Mark Cooper gives other local media outlets tonight. #stfc

— Sam Morshead (@SamMorshead_SA) January 14, 2014

In a statement, the club said: “The club's actions to place an embargo on the Swindon Advertiser was as a result of a series of issues with the newspaper of which the Nile Ranger incident was the most recent.

“The restriction on the Swindon Advertiser covering fixtures is in effect for home matches only, the first of which is at the end of this month. 

“The club feels it has acted in the best interests of Swindon Town and its supporters. 

“However, the club acknowledges that supporters do need a conduit and, as such, confirm that they will be meeting with Gary Lawrence, the group editor of the Swindon Advertiser on Monday to resolve our differences and to rebuild trust between both parties.

“The club would like to reiterate that this decision has been made with supporters in mind and would like to thank all supporters for their continued backing.”

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