Aberdeen FCâ€™s first team squad is refusing to speak to the local evening newspaper, the Evening Express, because they claim the paperâ€™s coverage of the club is â€œtoo negativeâ€.
And in return, the paper carried pictures of the refusnik players on its front (headline: Prima DONnas – Sulking Stars in Shocking Hissy Fit) and the back pages (headline: Incredible Sulks), with images of sticking plasters covering their lips.
The stand-off has seen the paperâ€™s sports editor, Charlie Allan, pitching up at Pittodrie to seek a face-to-face meeting with captain, Scott Severin, only to have his request refused. Instead, Severin sent the clubâ€™s media supremo, Dave Macdermid, to speak on his behalf.
Macdermid confirmed the ban was imposed because of â€œthe general negativityâ€ of the paperâ€™s coverage in recent weeks.
This included critical comments from fans and the paperâ€™s star columnists – former players, Joe Harper and Stewart McKimmie.
Macdermid said: â€œThe players feel the local paper should be more supportiveâ€, pointing out that they were particularly upset by a back page story confirming manager, Jimmy Calderwoodâ€™s plans to ship out at least ten of the first-team squad in the summer.
Calderwood did not name the players, but the paper printed a list of those it believed to be most under threat.
Calderwood told the newspaper that he felt the playersâ€™ ban was a mistake. He said: â€œI think the players are wrong because I donâ€™t think it helps anyone. But Seve told me that is what they wanted to do, so itâ€™s their choice. It was a bit naughty [of the paper] putting names to what I said, but you have to expect that.â€
Severin again refused to speak on Saturday, after his side’s 3-1 defeat at Rangers.
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