SWINDON Town chief executive Nick Watkins has welcomed the lifting of the photography ban at St. Mary's Stadium.

Watkins summed up the decision as a 'victory for common sense' after the Saints backed down from their decision to not allow press agency or newspaper photographers inside the ground, following mass pressure from local and national media outlets.

The County Ground board member praised the Swindon Advertiser's contribution to the widely-debated opposition to the ban – the use of Subbuteo figures to mimic the goals and key incidents in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy clash between Town an Southampton, a game which Swindon won 3-0.

“It is frequently said that a picture paints a thousand words, and about as many Subbuteo men,” said Watkins.

“However, despite the recent ban imposed on visiting photographers at St Mary's, the Swindon Advertiser's innovative approach to recording Swindon Town's excellent JPT win over Southampton ensured that their readers were able to at least imagine how the three goals were score.”

Although the continued presence of the ban could have leant itself to more and more innovative attempts by newspapers to by-pass the restrictions, Watkins preferred to celebrate the fact supporters of the majority of League One clubs will now have access to images of future encounters at the south coast club.

“I am delighted for all football fans of clubs yet to visit St Mary's that, given the lifting of the ban, they will no longer be required to rely upon Subbuteo men or cartoons to capture the game's highlights,” said the chief exec.

“It is a victory for common sense.”