Ex-PNE bosses in the firing line

Former Deepdale boss David Moyes
Former Deepdale boss David Moyes
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Two former Preston North End managers have been accused of being among the most unhelpful to the media by a trade magazine.

Former Northern Echo editor Peter Sands spoke to three regional press journalists for a feature which appears in the latest edition of InPublishing magazine.

At the Lancashire Evening Post we enjoy a good relationship with Preston as a club, and with manager Simon Grayson.

But ex-North End, Everton and Manchester United boss Moyes was branded “rude and unhelpful,” while another – former Lilywhites chief Davies – regularly “snarled his way through press conferences” during his stay at Nottingham Forest.

The article was written following a series of rows between regional newspapers and their local clubs which have led to some titles being banned from the press box.

Newcastle United recently lifted a 14-month ban on the Newcastle Chronicle and its sister titles, while earlier this month the Swindon Advertiser was barred from reporting from Swindon Town press conferences.

Among the editors interviewed by Sands was the Liverpool Echo’s Alastair Machray, who contrasted former Everton boss Moyes with his successor Roberto Martinez.

According to Machray, Moyes had “little or no time for the press, was rude and unhelpful, and made no distinction between national and local.”

However he reported better relations with current Toffees boss Martinez, who he described as “sophisticated, media-friendly, charming and appreciates the position and value of a local media.”

Likewise Nottingham Post editor Mike Sassi reported a poor relationship with former Forest manager Davies, with access to a single press conference every week “which Davies and his assistant manager snarled their way through begrudgingly.”

However, under Stuart Pearce, Forest are now more “open and accommodating” with players regularly made available for interview.

Meanwhile, The Sentinel sports editor Keith Wales reported “excellent links” with former Stoke City manager Tony Pulis, whose mobile phone number he had.

New boss Mark Hughes, on the other hand, only talks to the press at pre-match and post-match briefings.

Sands said: “The issue isn’t going to go away.

“With newspapers never likely to pay for access there is a danger they will increasingly rely on crumbs from the clubs’ tables. But football clubs need to keep one eye on the future.

“There is no guarantee broadcasters will always pour money into football.

“The Premier League might out-price itself, fans may grow disillusioned with an institution headed up by a discredited organisation such as FIFA”