Press to tackle football leagues' liscensing plan


The Newspaper Publishers Association and the Society of Editors are to join a working party suggested by the Carlton Premiership and Nationwide Football League to discuss licensing sportswriters who want to cover their matches. But they are doing so only after communicating serious reservations about the proposal.

The first working party meeting will be this week. NPA director Steve Oram said his organisation wanted to join to enable it to properly and fully express newspapers’ concerns about any unworkable or unacceptable proposals made by the leagues and then be able to amend them.

The NPA’s representative will be Andrew Moger, managing editor (pictures) of The Times.

Society of Editors executive director Bob Satchwell, having consulted a wide cross-section of his members, has written to David Folker, general manager of Football DataCo, a new company designed to protect the leagues’ interests.

In his letter, Satchwell said that while many editors recognised a problem with overcrowded press boxes, "from the outset they do not believe that a system of accreditation is the way to deal with that problem or to address the issues of people filing to certain new media organisations".

He noted Folker had said he was open to suggestions on dealing with problems. Satchwell’s letter added: "Please do not take this as an acceptance of either the principle or the practicality of the kind of licensing scheme you outlined."

By Jean Morgan

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