The Sun are refusing to refer to Southampton FC by name

Tabloid goes to war with League One club over match photos

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Not usually ones to get hysterical at the drop of a hat, The Sun is currently going through a Kill Bill-style ‘rip-roaring rampage of revenge’.

Having crossed World Cup scapegoat Fabio Capello off their list this morning by talking a load of old shit then proudly sticking a picture of him Photoshopped like a donkey over the top, they’ve turned their wrath on the whole of Southampton Football Club – sorry, we mean ‘South Coast Club‘ – in a row over photography rights.

The problem started earlier this month when the Saints rather stupidly decided to ban all outside press photographers from home games and announced news organisations now had to buy any shots of match action from a local image agency, as part of a money-spinning syndication deal.

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While most editors chose to shoot off angry letters about ‘freedom of the press’ and so on, The Sun have decided to go one step further and ban all reference to Southampton altogether. A match report from ‘Opposition’s’ 1-0 opening day defeat to Plymouth began with an explanatory rant:

While applauding Plymouth’s amazing victory we are deliberately ignoring one of the hottest title favourites in history. All this is down to Southampton’s draconian executive chairman Nicola Cortese. His totally crazy decision to ban national and local newspaper photographers from the game will hurt his club more than he thinks.

This senseless move will not make him extra money but it will turn the fans and, more importantly, sponsors away from the club. […] We apologise to the supporters who have stuck by their club through thick and thin. We make no apology to Cortese.

Now every account of South Coast Club’s games has to use increasingly creative ways not to mention either the team or its players. Here’s a extract from their 2-0 win over Bournemouth in the first round of the League Cup:

Eddie Howe’s side finally conceded on 64 minutes to a player who still lives in Bournemouth. The home winger [Adam Lallana] curled in a delightful 18-yard shot.

The Hampshire side sealed victory on 87 minutes, when their teenage forward [Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain] scored in his first full home match.

We respect The Sun’s endeavour (this time), but there’s no way they’ll be able to keep this up all season… surely?

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