In an extensive report, the local newspaper The Staffordshire Sentinel claims that their reporter and photographer have been banned from press duties at Vale Park.
Mr Smurthwaite has now taken the unprecedented step of insisting The Sentinel now pays £10,000 a year for the privilege of providing our readers with coverage of Port Vale…
According to the newspaper, Chairman Norman Smurthwaite was upset at a report the Sentinel ran on delays to the third shirt and as a result the newspaper’s team of reporter Michael Bagguley and photographer Mark Scott were denied access to the press box.
According to the newspaper: “We make absolutely no apology for asking what Mr Smurthwaite perceives as negative questions. That, occasionally, is the job of a local newspaper and something the Vale chairman has been told many times by many different people.
“It is worth noting that we attempted to give the club and the chairman ample opportunity to comment and to put a positive slant on each story.
“Mr Smurthwaite has now taken the unprecedented step of insisting The Sentinel now pays £10,000 a year for the privilege of providing our readers with coverage of Port Vale and providing his business with free publicity six days a week, every week.”
In the interests of fairness, should the club wish to issue its account of this we will be happy to publish that too.
Read the Sentinel’s full response to the ban here: http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/story-19996214-detail/story.html?#ixzz2j06gBsQx