Image Ban Forces Local Paper Re-think

The Swindon Advertiser has come up with an innovative way to recreate scenes from a football match with Southampton using Subbuteo.

Southampton Football Club recently banned the taking of photographs of their players as they felt they should be paid for image rights.

At the time, the Hampshire club said:

“The club has decided to make available to external media organisations photographic images taken by the club’s own professional sports photographers only.

“These images will be available to all media organisations on normal commercial terms. The purpose of this is solely to protect the club’s commercial revenues derived from the use of its wholly-owned images.

“Saints fans will of course continue to be able to see a wide range of match day photography on the club website.”

Anthony Marshall, the brains behind the idea to use Subbuteo said:

“Everyone is trying to get around it. We just have to be as imaginative as possible. It is a bit quirky and hopefully the readers will see the funny side of it.”

“Football clubs need newspapers as much as newspapers need football clubs. The partnership is mutually beneficial.

“Clubs essentially receive free advertising, with their team and sponsors splashed across the back pages every single day, while the readership of papers is boosted by those who want to find out what is going on at their club.

It is appalling, yet not surprising, that as the current state of the game dictates, image rights of footballers should come under scrutiny, and is a damning indictment as to the state of the game.

There are strange goings on at Southampton at the moment: manager Alan Pardew was sacked after a 4-0 win last week, despite guiding the club to success last year winning the Johnston’s PaintTtrophy and pushing for a playoff spot with a ten point deduction hanging over the team.

That is of course no excuse for the odd behaviour and banning of photography. There are strange things afoot and it is a shame that local newspapers are being sucked into the swirling mess.

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