Daniel Hunt’s take on the Adver’s County Ground ban

Our very own Daniel Hunt has made the news for his part in a bizarre move by Swindon Town Chairman Lee Power, who banned the Swindon Advertiser over Sam Morshead’s Nile Ranger Tweet. Here is Dan’s view on the situation that he’s embroiled in…

On Saturday 11th January, I took my Dad (a Town supporter since the mid 1960s and the very reason I’m a Swindon supporter myself) into the Sponsor’s Suite hospitality at the County Ground for the League One match against Peterborough United. We both had a great day and the football club couldn’t have been more hospitable – I want to make that clear from the start.

Former STFC left back Phil King was an excellent matchday host. He led a group made up of half of the hospitality guests on a stadium tour before we all sat down for our pre-match meal. We took in the boardroom, the home changing room and then the dugouts in that order.

We were told that the normal protocol was for the tour to take in the away changing room but that Peterborough United had objected – meaning that the home changing room became our destination for the second part of the tour. It was immediately visible that Nile Ranger’s kit was laid out ready for him to use that day – something that King touched on in his entertaining pre-match patter.

At no point were hospitality guests asked not to take photos on the stadium tour, in fact it was encouraged. I took several pictures including the token ‘pretending to be a manager in the dugout’ shot and the now infamous Ranger shirt shot. All part of the fun.

At 12:35 I tweeted that Ranger’s kit was laid out in the changing room and later at 13:57, I tweeted the picture of Ranger’s kit which I had taken earlier on the stadium tour. In the meantime, Nile Ranger had himself posted an image on Instagram at approximately 13:15 proclaiming that he was back!

With Ranger’s involvement in the match day squad becoming public knowledge through Twitter/Instagram, I believe Swindon Advertiser journalist Sam Morshead was correct to take to the ‘Twittersphere’ and confirm what he already knew for the benefit of the Swindon Town fans he serves daily.

If Darren Ferguson is to be believed (his Dad was one of the master exponents of mind games after all), Peterborough United caught wind of the Ranger developments on the internet and adjusted their team accordingly – something that worked a treat as Ranger glanced Swindon into the lead in the 28th minute…

If you ask me, Peterborough changing their team at the last moment was a massive compliment to STFC and would have been disruptive to their preparation – perfect start to the day for Cooper’s men.

What transpired on Monday afternoon – Swindon Town F.C. banning the Swindon Advertiser from covering press conferences/home games/etc – was a highly unfortunate culmination of events. As far as I’m concerned, Sam Morshead did everything by the book on Saturday and should receive the fans full backing. Once again it calls into question the much debated subject of who needs who more…

Local football club or local newspaper?

A subject complicated by the backdrop of ever increasing social media usage by clubs, media and supporters alike. The matchday experience has changed – Twitter/Instagram/Facebook are vital tools for information hungry football fans to gather and share information ahead of 3pm on a Saturday.

Hopefully this whole mess can be resolved very quickly for everyone’s benefit. For my part, I feel genuinely sorry for Sam Morshead and the Swindon Advertiser.

Honestly yours,

Daniel Hunt

(Don Rogers Stand Season Ticket holder)


  • I wonder what the response would be if we had lost?


  • Power wants to stop Sam saying wats goin on at Swindon Hes got no money and will take us down


  • morecashthanpoorjed

    This is not about other’s tweeting the info or the end result, the journo agreed not to say anything until the team sheet came out and then went back on his word, and further refused to offer an apology which would of closed the matter, the Journo has clearly undermined the trust and respect the club has afforded him, and now he has seen fit to make it public without delay, rather then trying to resolve it, very poor form.


  • A journalists role is to report news. Once the information had become public knowledge then Sam should report it. That’s his job. Anything else is censorship of the press.
    If the club didn’t want the information to be released then Ranger shouldn’t have been allowed to tweet about it and the people touring the club should be asked to not discuss anything they see until after the match. Both the players and fans are not journalists and can be expected to keep that information to themselves.
    Journalists should never be asked to keep information secret.


  • Clearly there is more to this than this one event – it could be about previous article, personal clash between Morshead and Power, or both. In a way it doesn’t matter – what does is that the relationship between club and local paper is so poor that a ban is seen as a viable tactic. This has to be fixed for both to thrive.

    Both sides clearly need each other for financial gain but they also need a good relationship other for other reasons, including reputation – as the club, and Power, do this mainly through media relations not PR. Yes, Jed’s Twitter platitudes were laughable, and at times obviously false, they give the impression of engaging with the fans – Power doesn’t do that. He doesn’t meet people face-to-face either. He hasn’t met the Trust or even the Supporters’ Club. He needs the paper more than Jed did.

    To some extent they also give each other legitimacy in the eyes of others – in the access the paper gets and the promotion the club gets over other sports.

    I could go on but you’ve stopped reading already. In summary, sort it out and make up, it is for your own good.


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