By ANTON RIPPON
CHRISTMAS is coming and the spirit of Scrooge is alive and well in the EFL Championship.
A football club that cannot afford to play its players’ wages has banned a local sports journalist after he posted a gif of a scene from the film “The Muppets Christmas Carol”.
— Marc Iles (@MarcIles) December 14, 2018
Bolton Wanderers has told the Bolton News that its chief football writer, Marc Iles, a finalist in the Football Journalist of the Year category at this year’s Northwest Football Awards, is no longer welcome.
In its email to the newspaper, the club said it found the post “offensive and amateurish” and added it had harboured “concerns over the tone and accuracy of his reporting over a long period of time”.
Last month the Bolton News ran a comment piece written by Iles (pictured right) under the headline “Enough is enough” in which he called upon the Trotters’ chairman, Ken Anderson, to give readers a “truthful and straightforward explanation of Wanderers’ financial situation” after the salaries became overdue.
The ban means that Iles will not be granted facilities for home matches or pre-match press conferences.
The Bolton News said: “For many years, Marc has been THE person to go to to find out what is happening with Bolton Wanderers both on and off the pitch
“The contacts and sources he has built up over the years are second to none and he has covered the highs and lows of the club accurately and responsibly.
— Marc Iles (@MarcIles) December 19, 2018
“He has never sought to sensationalise reports and is always fair to the club by seeking responses to stories to ensure balanced coverage.
“The ban no doubt follows several unflattering articles about the club’s finances at a time when Mr Anderson is trying to sell it.
“We accept that he does not welcome the negative publicity, but feel the ban is inappropriate.
“While access to players and staff has been withdrawn to Marc, he will continue to provide first-class coverage of Wanderers for us.
“He is still THE Bolton Wanderers reporter and we will not be sending anyone else to do the job he does so well.”