Readers upset with Bromley's reaction

Wednesday 08th March 2006

Readers of this website and fellow journalists were stunned when Bromley Football Club said “I’m no longer welcome at Hayes Lane,” - despite breaking an EXCLUSIVE but TRUE STORY.

The Ryman Premier League club issued an official club statement hours after I broke the story - confirming the managerial changes at the club.

In my statement issued yesterday, I insisted “no malice” was intended in the article.

Many readers of this very popular website support me in this matter and insist I have done nothing wrong - just reporting on the news.

They agree with me that the club can’t deny me access to cover matches at Hayes Lane, which includes Cray Wanderers who always offer me a warm reception, for breaking a true news story.

Here are some of the messages I’ve received in the last couple of days:

1) Bromley supporter:

"Stephen, you really have my support over this. Your crime is what exactly? Telling the truth, I imagine.

“I shall therefore, in the face of such extreme, petty, overbearing and hard-line tactics, ban myself from Bromley FC as from now until its resolved!

“It may not concern them too much, but it matters to me. We do have a free press after all and as far as I an remember, and that respect must be granted to ALL journalism, as long as what is being reported is accurate as I believe your article was.

“If you have contact with the club you may care to tell them that they’ve just lost one paying customer over this. A plague on all their houses, as the saying goes.”

2) Tonbridge Angels supporter:

“Stephen, you provide a unique and excellent service. I was on-line the day you “broke” the worst kept football news. You gave the club ample notice that you would report the story and gave them the opportunity to speak to you prior.

"I hope for your sake - as a fan of that club - and as a reporter off football for the rest of us that the chairman reconsiders his position regarding the above article.

“You responded on the day as a fan and as a reporter. If not, it is Bromley FC’s loss.”

3) Kent football follower, Auckland, New Zealand - former Bromley player

“I have been following your website from the other side of the world having moved to Auckland, New Zealand five years ago and have been very impressed with your coverage.

“I feel I have a reasonable knowledge of Kent football having played (and won a few Kent League medals) for a number of clubs between 1974 and 1987 (usually in the reserves but with a few first team games), including Tonbridge, Sittingbourne, Chatham Town and Sheppey United.

“I’m afraid the situation at Bromley (I even had one game for their reserves back in the 1970’s) is the same at all clubs where the (?) have a large inflated ego and cannot stand any criticism.

“Keep up the good work!”

3) Kent Football follower

“Very small minded of them! There’s plenty of other Kent clubs who would welcome the coverage you provide.

“Journalists are supposed to break stories aren’t they or do Bromley live in a different world to the rest of us?!?!? Wake up and smell the coffee chaps!”

4) Kent Football fan:

“Can’t help but think that Bromley are just looking for a bit of petty revenge. All last summer I was upset that you had the first information on what was happening at (?) rather than our own site, but you can only say what you have been told.

“That should be a criticism of our chairman rather than you.

“Bromley must have been out of their mind if they felt they could keep that information quiet.

“The situation is of their own making, not yours. It’s a shame that they cannot see that.

“I log onto this site every day as I have an interest in most local football, and would not want to see it change its methods or the way it does what it does.

“Please keep it up. Many of us rely on the site.

“With regard to the Bromley situation, they are probably embarrassed about the dreadful way they are treating their staff. I’ve only met George (Wakeling) once, but a nice guy and he certainly deserves better.

5) Manager of a Kent League Football Club:

“Stephen, keep up the good work and don’t let the b******* grind you down. Any publicity at our standard is good publicity. Bromley will go down hill with those sort of people involved.”

6) Chairman, Hythe Town Football Club

"You will be very welcome to report on Hythe Town games if you cannot attend Bromley FC.  No one should be penalised for reporting the true facts.  Keep up the good work - much appreciated."

7) Ramsgate supporter: 

"I am in full support of you with the Bromley antics.  If you worked for a national newspaper and wrote about a manager leaving, would a top club react in the same way?  I think not!"

*  I would like to thank my readers for taking the time out to contact me.

All I want is an email from the club and giving me permission to attend all matches at Hayes Lane to continue the excellent coverage I provide.

As I’ve said above, Cray Wanderers FC have always been very welcoming towards me and I don’t think it’s fair that they are being denied the coverage they deserve - the same can be said for Bromley.

I can be contacted by clicking “Contact us” on the home page.

Stephen McCartney