Swindon Town lifts ban on paper over reporter's tweet after talks with editor

A ban imposed on the Swindon Advertiser by their local football team after a row over a Tweet has been lifted.

Swindon Town FC blacklisted the Advertiser’s football correspondent Sam Morshead after he announced on Twitter that striker Nile Ranger was back in the squad in advance of a recent game.

Morshead had earlier agreed with the club that he would hold off on the news until the official team sheets were released.

However a fan on a tour of the ground spotted Ranger’s shirt in the dressing room and tweeted the picture, announcing that the player would be taking the field.

Swindon’s chairman Lee Power banned the Advertiser from covering press conferences and from media facilities at the County Ground.

Players and club officials were also banned from communicating with the Advertiser until the matter was resolved.

Power met with the Advertiser’s editor Gary Lawrence yesterday to settle the dispute.

Following the meeting, Lawrence said:  “We had a full and frank exchange and Lee made it clear how he felt about the tweet and other issues around reporting of the club. I was able to explain our position and make a few points about what we do and why we do it.

 “It was helpful and I was able to appreciate why Lee was upset and I hope he was able to understand that the paper, and Sam, are among the club’s most fervent backers in this town but we have a job to do and as long as we do it responsibly we have to be free to get on with it. It is clear that Lee wants the best for the team, the club and its supporters. We agreed that lifting this ban and moving on is the best way forward for the club as a whole and the fans.

“Sam works incredibly hard to provide the best and most in-depth coverage of the team and he’ll continue to do that. I’m grateful for Lee making time to sort this out and now we get on with our work.”

The club said: “We would like to thank all supporters for their support and perseverance during this time. We were pleased to see that this was reflected in the results of the Advertiser's own-initiated online poll, where 55 percent of readers agreed with the chairman's actions to suspend the Advertiser. 

“We recognise the importance of the Advertiser as a local source of club news and as a supporter of the club. We have also taken the opportunity to increase coverage on our own website and have encouraged interaction with other sources of media to ensure that fans are provided with as much news about the club as possible.

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