Well it’s not new news and I’m sure everyone has seen that this news has been revealed by guardian/Observer correspondent and Forest fan Daniel Taylor. It’s based on the fact that Taylor apparently wanted free tickets to the game on a Press Pass but as he wasn’t reporting on that game wasn’t allowed one.
Now this is where a lot of debate begins, and I didn’t want to wade in, but hey ho, it’s a slow news day. On the one hand I can see some fans view that why should journalists essentially turn up to watch a game for free. Furthermore essentially as a means to watch his own team. Taylor cites that as part of his job and for his profession watching a lot of football is necessary, and that is something I can certainly see.
However, when it’s to watch the team you follow things might seem a bit murky. It’s on the surface an abuse of a perfectly good system. That said I’m sure x amount of other club won’t mind, and at the end of the day you’d want to foster a good spirit between a journalist who supports your team as he will always more inclined to report favourably.
Well yes and no. Taylor hasn’t always reported favourably on Davies, and Jim Price for that matter. He has commented on some of the previous debacles of the Fawaz regime (the Brighton credit card, George Boyd etc) but I regard this as good. If he weren’t a Forest fan these might not get mentioned at all in the national press or if they were handled by some less sympathetic, and although it’s negative it’s still nice to get national attention. Bear in mind that on discussing many a matter at the top levels of football Taylor will frequently refer back to a Forest context, this I have seen on more than one occasion (and I make no apologies for explaining I am, if anything though still rarely, a Guardian/Observer reader.
But then there is how the regime under Price deals with the media, which until now I didn’t see as overly bad, but now is getting silly. When it’s a provincial row between the local rag and the local radio, I didn’t worry, but if you start getting the Nationals attention for you act then this is only going to affect how the whole nation perceives your club.
Now ok, right now some of you are probably thinking “I don’t care” well that’s all well and good, but if we have aspirations of top level football with it will come more attention and scrutiny from the national media. Again you might not care, but think on the pressure that might develop if everyone’s concentrating on crazy Forest and what mad japes they got up to this week, and how that could negatively affect the whole vibe within the club. If the world of football is laughing at you, then if things aren’t going right, then there is ammo to be chucked. The feeling will translate to the stands, to the players, and essentially it affects the whole persona and representation of the club. What I’m trying to say is think Blackburn.
Now, it shouldn’t be that way. We got bad press last season, some of it warranted for various bad decisions and odd ball moments. The whole McLeish era (and era feels an odd word to use for such a brief period) is basically pretty much the period I’m referring to, but also the not very well timed dismissal of O’Driscoll, the culling en masse of back room staff, this wasn’t well handled, and so the media represented it as such.
Now the club seem to be trying to punish the media for publishing negative news. I sort of get the angle they may have taken, that they think well top stop all this negative attention we’ll just cut off the head of the snake to avoid it. But that is so incredibly naive and short sighted as to be ridiculous. What the hell do they think the media will do instead, go meekly into the night with their tails between their legs? Of course not, it will in fact create a worse impression and create worse press. This is from a Forest fan in Daniel Taylor, what if he wasn’t a fan of the club, think of the negativity then? Ok Taylor had good links with the past regime which were largely culled, but he still would want the best for the club. He can’t enjoy painting us in a bad light as much as some Twitter trolls would have you believe otherwise.
I’m not going to quite go on a Vital-esque crusade of “truth” against Jim Price. I find that angle frankly ridiculous and unhealthy. I just want the club to realise the path it’s chosen in alienating and shunning the media is a ridiculously bad decision. A lot of people are saying well we can control that now with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, we can put our own content out and not worry about the national media, it’s obsolete, but that’s again ridiculously short sighted. We don’t want some kind of nightmare world where only good press is published. Does this mean that us bloggers have to worry about having season tickets removed for writing bad things? How far would it go to an Orwellian nightmare? That’s a long stretch to go to, but it almost does feel like Price and Davies have the “Thought Police” out, and will ban anyone who dare publish anything anti club.
Again, I’m not anti Davies and Price, I’m just disappointed with the methods being taken by them in handling media affairs. What they have done has turned this club round into challengers, with Fawaz’s cash, and with Davies managing, Price clearly has done well in the transfer market, so I can’t criticise that side, but what I don’t like is trying to control a media profile of the club through careful manipulation of who it allows in. It’s a dangerous game. And one that doesn’t need playing at all. It just seems they think they are being immensely clever whilst actually very stupid.