'Reconsider Argus closure' plea

The Birmingham Post and Mail NUJ chapel has asked publisher Trinity Mirror to reconsider its decision to close the Sports Argus and relaunch it in the next football season.

Birmingham Post and Mail deputy FoC Chris Morley said that the company's arguments for closing the title have been "totally discredited".

He said: "They said the main reason to close the Argus was the big reduction in Saturday fixtures. We have pointed out that since they made the announcement, two of the three Premiership teams in the region — West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City — have been relegated, so they will be playing virtually all their games on Saturdays from next season. It seems strange that they are still using that excuse."

Morley also argued that the Argus was not given the chance to take advantage of multimedia advances such as the internet, mobile phones and SMS services.

Morley added: "The chapel wanted to stress that we felt the Argus had been given no chance to take part in the multimedia advance, where the Mail and the Post had been put on digital.

"We have said that, rather than just throw it away, they should create a new business plan for reintroducing it in the next football season."

A Trinity spokesperson said: "The sad fact is that the Sports Argus — like other evening sports papers around the country — has simply had its day as a standalone title.

"Readers' habits have changed, football has changed and we have to change with them."

Argus editor Jason White has now left the paper, and the other full-time member of staff was offered a vacancy which, it is understood, he turned down, so the chapel has agreed not to ballot at this stage.

Casual workers who did shifts on the Argus have been given compensation of three months' pays for loss of work.

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