Negative approach to local media a factor in football boss sacking


A football club manager who refused to speak to a regional daily lost his job partly because he failed to meet his media obligations.

After his team was relegated from League One, Plymouth Argyle boss Derek Adams was probably on his way out of Home Park anyway. But now the club has revealed that his negative approach to the media was taken into account.

Adams was relieved of his duties after Plymouth lost 5-1 at Accrington Stanley on 28 April, after which he refused to speak to journalists. He had already barred reporters from the Plymouth Herald and its Plymouth Live website after taking umbrage over two articles that appeared in March, criticising his tactics, team selection and player recruitment. At the time the club made no comment other than to confirm that the ban applied only to the Plymouth paper and website, and that players and other members of staff were not out of bounds.

Plymouth Live editor Edd Moore said: “As the largest and leading independent media outlet for all Argyle-related news and views, we pride ourselves on our unrivalled coverage of the club we all so passionately support.

“Our readers rightly expect extensive pre-match coverage, including interviews with the manager. We are sorry we are being blocked from bringing you this. The decision is out of our hands but we hope the restriction will be temporary … We make no apologies for representing the supporters when they are frustrated. We make no apologies either for, two weeks earlier, representing the supporters when they were radiant in their praise of the team and hailing the manager’s ‘tactical master class’.”

Plymouth Herald reporter Chris Errington

Under Football Association and English Football League regulations, Adams was obliged to attend press conferences, but after his refusal to do so following the Accrington defeat he was sacked.

In a statement follow his dismissal Argyle said: “The club would like to place on record its sincere gratitude to Derek, not only for his hard work and dedication in his management of the team, but also for his wider input into the club during four challenging and often exciting seasons.”

However, in an exclusive interview with the Plymouth Herald Simon Hallett, the Argyle chairman, confirmed that the former manager’s approach to the media was taken into consideration when making the decision to dismiss him: “Clearly, what flicked the switch was the Accrington game … We felt that the way our fans were treated up at Accrington wasn’t entirely appropriate, and we felt that Derek had obligations to the media that he didn’t fulfil.  So, we weren’t happy about the Accrington game in ways other than just the result.”

Edd Moore told HoldtheFrontPage: “We passionately support Plymouth Argyle and have generally always had a very good relationship with the club. We’re looking forward to that relationship continuing to improve when a new full-time manager is appointed.”