Aberdeen Football Club’s first-team squad are refusing to speak to their local evening newspaper, the Evening Express, because they claim the paper’s coverage of the club is “too negative”.
And in return, the paper carried pictures of the refusnik players on its front (headline: Prima DONnas – Sulking Stars in Shocking Hissy Fit) and the back pages (headline: Incredible Sulks), with images of sticking plasters covering their lips.
The stand-off has seen the paper’s sports editor, Charlie Allan, pitching up at the club’s stadium, Pittodrie – to seek a face-to-face meeting with captain, Scott Severin – only to have his request refused. Instead, Severin sent the club’s media supremo, Dave Macdermid, to speak on his behalf.
Macdermid confirmed the ban was imposed because of “the general negativity” of the paper’s coverage in recent weeks.
This included critical comments from fans and the paper’s star columnists – former players, Joe Harper and Stewart McKimmie.
Macdermid said: “The players feel the local paper should be more supportive”, pointing out that they were particularly upset by a back page story confirming manager, Jimmy Calderwood’s plans to ship out at least ten of the first-team squad in the summer.
Calderwood did not name the players, but the paper printed