6 Towns Radio claim that they have been banned by Port Vale for several months because of an “incorrect version of events” given to the club.
The community radio station claim that they were handed a ban after Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite told them that “several people including some of the key people in the Tony Naylor Charity day advised me of your conduct around that event and as such my action is to keep yourself away from the Club.”
6 Towns Radio had always been involved in promoting the charity match in the run up to it and had even arranged for a number of players to play in the game…
6 Towns Radio chief Rob Ledgar claims that Smurthwaite is acting on incorrect information. In a press release on the radio’s website, he says that the ban “arises from an incorrect allegation of the early release of footage of the [Tony Naylor charity] game by a film production company on another radio station’s YouTube channel.”
Ledgar adds: “I received a call on the day of the release of the footage asking why I had released it, which I found to be a somewhat bizarre accusation, especially considering the footage was hosted on another stations YouTube channel! ”
“I explained that I had merely retweeted the link put out by the films producers, in an effort to further the awareness of the game and its worthy cause, continuing the support and the promotion that I and 6 Towns Radio had given the game.”
Ledgar claims that the station has tried to resolve the matter privately but after an impasse of six months, they have decided to go public.
He continued: “6 Towns Radio had always been involved in promoting the charity match in the run up to it and had even arranged for a number of players to play in the game. I was personally contacting players in the week leading up to the game to try and get them involved so really don’t understand these false accusations.”
“Since then I have contacted Norman Smurthwaite after discovering that he had decided to ban 6 Towns Radio from Port Vale coverage, it seems he is being led by an incorrect version of the events from the sponsor.”
“I have also investigated what went on and am in full possession of the facts and various communications between the film production team and the other radio station. I also know that the film company have written to Norman and explained that neither I or 6 Towns Radio had any influence on their decision to release their film. “
“I have explained all of this to Norman in writing and he chose not to respond. In the email to Norman I asked to meet him so that he could make a judgement based on the facts which I outlined.”
I feel that our integrity and good name is been slighted by the denial of access to cover Port Vale…
“We feel as directors of 6 Towns Radio that we have given many opportunities for this matter to be resolved and personally I feel that our integrity and good name is been slighted by the denial of access to cover Port Vale. We try to maintain a healthy balance of coverage of both major teams in the area but are being denied by a petty personal dispute that we have done all we can to resolve including offering a written apology for any misunderstanding.”
“We have given the matter 6 months privacy and been very patient in trying to resolve the matter but now have decided to share the facts with the public.”
“As an organisation we are run on a full volunteer basis, support work experience, the unemployed and students giving them media skills and opportunities that they might not get elsewhere. In the past we were asked to support Norman’s son on a work experience which we were prepared to do.”