A change of ownership at Portsmouth has seen the Premier League club lift a five-month ban on its local newspaper, The News, just in time for the new season.
The News‘s sports desk was shut out of training sessions and press conferences, after it ran a story saying that the club had damaged the FA Cup last year. The club claimed that the newspaper had “misrepresented” the story.
“They’ve haven’t really given us a reason for lifting the ban,” The News‘s sports editor, Howard Frost, told Hold The Front Page. “I know it was always their intention to let us back in eventually.
“Tuesday was the first pre-season friendly which we went to. I think the timing’s a coincidence with Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim about to take over but we know he is very media friendly.
“It’s a relief that it’s over as it was tough not being able to speak to the manager and players towards the end of the season.”
A Portsmouth club spokesman said: â€œThe ban has been lifted with a view to it being official but we are still to sit down with them.
“Weâ€™ve let them into games as a gesture of goodwill but we will need to look back at how the story happened in the first place and look forward to how we work together in the future.â€
Frost, though, maintained that his newspaper will not be intimidated. â€œThe ban will not affect at all how we cover any negative stories in the future,â€ he said.