FANS have voted narrowly in favour of Swindon Town owner Lee Power’s decision to ban the Adver from the County Ground.
An online poll at www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk drew more than 2,500 votes, with 55 per cent siding with Mr Power and 45 per cent believing the ban is wrong.
The 1,384 votes in favour of the embargo were cast from 392 distinct browsers, while the 1,149 votes against the action originated from 780 unique browsers, with multiple votes from the same IP address twice as common in those backing the football club.
Mr Power barred the newspaper from attending home games or press calls after chief sports writer Sam Morshead Tweeted that striker Nile Ranger was in the team to play Peterborough United at the County Ground last Saturday at 1.15pm – 45 minutes before the team sheets were made official.
Sam passed on the information after seeing a Tweet by fan Daniel Hunt who had photographed Ranger’s shirt in the dressing room during a pre-match tour of the ground at 12.30pm.
Ranger scored as Town won 2-1 and it later emerged that the striker himself had told 13,198 followers on Instagram that he was back in the team at 1.32pm, half an hour before the team sheets were handed in.
The club released a statement on Tuesday evening outlining their reasons for imposing the ban.
It read: “The club’s actions to place an embargo on the Swindon Advertiser was as a result of a series of issues with the newspaper of which the Nile Ranger incident was the most recent.
“The restriction on the Swindon Advertiser covering fixtures is in effect for home matches only, the first of which is at the end of this month.
“The club feels it has acted in the best interests of Swindon Town and its supporters.
“However, the club acknowledges that supporters do need a conduit and, as such, confirm that they will be meeting with Gary Lawrence, the group editor of the Swindon Advertiser, on Monday to resolve our differences and to rebuild trust between both parties.
“The club would like to reiterate that this decision has been made with supporters in mind and would like to thank all supporters for their continued backing.”
The two parties are poised to meet next week in a bid to restore relations ahead of the visit of Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, January 25.