Southampton FC bans reporters from talking to fans outside ground

Premier League club cites health and safety reasons after journalists are told not to take vox pops outside St Mary's

There appears to be no level of pettiness to which Southampton football club will not stoop in its harassment of the media.

HoldTheFrontPage reports today that the club has now banned journalists from conducting vox pops with fans on land outside its ground.

Reporters carrying out interviews outside St Mary's stadium ahead of Monday night's match against Everton were told they must leave the area for health and safety reasons.

The club has been in dispute with the city's daily paper, the Southern Daily Echo, for a couple of years. But this move involves journalists from all newspapers and broadcasters.

The Echo's editor-in-chief, Ian Murray, is quoted by HoldTheFrontPage as saying: "We spoke to lots of fans outside the club's zone of influence. It's all very silly really as you can't prevent fans from having a say and trying to do so just makes you look intolerant of other viewpoints.

"It looks as though other media, including the BBC, are simply getting a taste of what we have had to put up with for some time."

In 2010, the club barred press photographers from attending its ground and instead said newspapers should purchase images from its official photographer. After widespread protests, the ban was lifted – except for the Echo.

Source: HoldTheFrontPage

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