Swindon FC has come under fire for deciding to control all its media output through an app called Fanzai.
The app, which prides itself on being a fully moderated club-to-fan portal with exclusive club content, will this season be the main focal point of the club's releases. Irking local tabloids was the fact the club will not host them for pre-match or midweek press conferences.
Swindon FC posted a statement to address concerns the company was cutting out reporters: “The club are very disappointed and surprised in the way in which our new media arrangement has been portrayed locally and presented to the national media.”
Using an in-house journalist to conduct interviews with players, management and staff, Swindon FC says that by distributing through Fanzai, it can bypass the “profanity and abuse that users may experience on existing social media”.
“For the avoidance of doubt, post-match access and the reporting of matches by the media will remain exactly the same as last season.”
Head of sport at the website Total Swindon, Sam Morshead, condemned the move from local press coverage to ‘sanitised PR’, adding that it would result in the club facing “no real questions, no real answers, no real accountability”.