Hartlepool bans newspapers over commercial deal

Jeff Stelling will be gobsmacked: his beloved Hartlepool has banned from its ground reporters and photographers from the Hartlepool Mail and the Northern Echo because they refused to sign a commercial agreement with the club’s management.

The Hartlepool Mail’s football writer Chris Young has been paying the entry fee on the gate after the club refused to give him official accreditation. Reporters from both papers are banned from post-match press conferences.

Yesterday’s edition said: “Today we bring you pictures of last night’s stunning win over West Bromwich Albion courtesy of another media organisation that heard about our plight and agreed to supply our readers with images from the game.”

The story added that the pictures “may be the last you see in your Mail”.

Mail editor Joy Yates told readers: “The Mail and The Northern Echo extensively cover all that is Hartlepool United but we are now being prevented from doing that. It is a sad situation, but we will endeavour to bring you the best possible coverage.”

The club refused to comment and chairman Ken Hodcroft could not be reached for comment.

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