Manager bans BFP from Needham matches over story he didn’t like

CENTRE OF A STORM: Needham Market manager Mark Morsley refused to  comment in the Free Press' story but then wrote a long blog hosted by the club's official website. We are unable to reproduce this for legal reasons.
CENTRE OF A STORM: Needham Market manager Mark Morsley refused to comment in the Free Press' story but then wrote a long blog hosted by the club's official website. We are unable to reproduce this for legal reasons.
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Following last week’s exclusive story surrounding Adam Mills’ departure from Needham Market, the officials at the Ryman League Premier Division club have decided to ban the Bury Free Press from covering matches and obtaining quotes.

The Free Press attempted to resolve the situation, which centred on a spitting allegation levied against teenager Mills at Staines Town which did not make it into the referee’s report.

While Mills and his father, Geoff, issued a total denial, the Free Press revealed manager Mark Morsley had fined the striker two weeks’ wages and banned him for eight matches before retracting it after Geoff Mills obtained a video of the game. Mills completed a move to Maldon & Tiptree after being put on the transfer list at his request.

When approached for his views and version of events, Morsley, who said he represented the club, declined to comment on the record and threatened to ban the BFP if a story was published.

Free Press sports editor Russell Claydon said he felt not pursuing one, after the threat was made, would have ‘brought the whole paper’s journalistic integrity into question and was not in the best interest of our readers’.

Bury Free Press editor Paul Richardson added: “It is disappointing, as the Bury Free Press has covered the highs and lows of Needham Market FC for many years and, as one of the sponsors, remain committed to the best coverage we can provide. I hope the club re-considers their position when they have put everything into perspective.”

Needham Market chairman, Keith Nunn, gave a short statement, saying: “It is in neither the club nor the player’s interest to comment further.

“What has appeared on the club website is Mark Morsley’s view and the club is fully supportive of his management.”

The story Morsley objected to can be read here.