Media Etiquette in Football

A New Chapter for Press Interaction: Manchester United's Latest Decision

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Media Etiquette in Football

In a recent turn of events, Manchester United, one of the most popular football clubs in the world, has taken the controversial step of banning journalists from several media outlets from attending their press conferences and media appearances. The outlets affected include Manchester Evening News, Sky Sports, Mirror, and ESPN.

The ban was imposed following the publication of a story that suggested a state of unrest within the team under the management of Erik ten Hag. The story, which was published on December 4, 2023, two days before Manchester United's league match with Chelsea, reported that there was disharmony in the dressing room under Ten Hag's management. 

The club's communications director, Andrew Ward, made the decision to ban the four media outlets from attending Ten Hag's pre-game press conference.Manchester United's official stance on the matter is that the ban was not imposed because the club disliked the stories, but because the media outlets published them without first contacting the club to give them the opportunity to comment, challenge, or contextualize the information

Erik ten Hag, in his press conference on December 5, 2023, refuted the stories of unrest within his squad, insisting that they were not true. He stated, "We are really improving. We can't make the goal we did against Everton if the players don't embrace it"

This is not the first time Manchester United has taken such action. In the past, the club has imposed restrictions on journalists due to perceived negative coverage. However, this recent ban has sparked a significant amount of controversy and discussion, given the high-profile nature of the outlets involved and the implications it has for press freedom and the relationship between football clubs and the media.

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