Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday September 23 2006
Boycott the Birmingham Mail
Over the last few weeks I have kept a close eye on the reporting from the Birmingham Mail. Since August 1st Villa have been the headline story on the back page 21 times. During the same period the dildo salesmen from Small Heath have been headline story on 24 occasions.
So despite the takeover, Martin O'Neill's arrival, buying Petrov for nearly £7 million, remaining unbeaten, being the only Premier League club in the city and having attendances almost twice the size of our neighbours, they are still getting more publicity from the regions newspaper.
The final straw being today (Friday 22nd). Tomorrow we are playing at home in the Premier League, in front of a probable attendance of 35,000 - 40,000. It is officially Randys first game at home as Chairman and it will be Petrovs home debut. In the team/squad there are several young, local lads in Moore, Agbonlahor and Gardner. However the back page of the Mail is about Small Heath.
It is common knowledge that they have the paper in their back pocket (allegedly) and I know there has been an unofficial boycott of the paper by Villa fans. However I think it is now time for an official boycott of the publication unless the news it carries reflects the balance of power in our city.
Article by voiceoftheholte
I don't usually add to articles, but this one I will! The Birmingham Mail (or Evening Mail as it was known) was the only paper that didn't give the fans the voice as all others did. We tried, especially via a great reporter at the Mail, to have a meeting with the sports editor Ken Montgomery and Villa reporter Bill Howell. The requests fell on deaf ears. I wrote to Ken, it was ignored. I emailed, it was ignored. The final straw came for my family and we cancelled our papers that we'd had as a family for 20 years, when they didn't report on the march before the Southampton game. 3000 Villa fans protesting and they didn't see fit to report it? As I tried to explain to them, we didn't expect them to agree with a word we said or a deed we did, but it was still news.
VFC had great coverage nationwide, in nationals and local papers, the Mail lagged very sadly behind that and despite a few signs of rebellion they always retreated to the safe Ellis spin line. What a shame they ever let Leon Hickman leave, now that was a sports editor with guts and bite.
Some of the reporting on Villa in the last few months has been nothing short of a joke, I get the feeling the new guys in at Villa will be very unwilling to allow that to continue.
First step might be to get a reporter like Lisa Smith who understands and supports Villa to report on them, now that would be a step forward. Better than a tame Walsall fan who lapped up Doug's every word and ignored the fans. His interview on Sky by Pete Colley about how great Doug had been to get Martin O'Neill and what a legacy he was leaving not only got loads of Villa fans laughing at him, but also fellow reporters who couldn't believe just how far up the arse of the board he had gone in his praise. Come off it, Martin O'Neill would not have come to Villa if he'd thought Doug was going to be at the helm, surely everyone realises that now?!?
Now for Villa information many have turned to The Birmingham Post and Express & Star, neither are afraid to be free thinking and to report with balance.
Date:Saturday September 23 2006
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