UK

The Sun Responds To Liverpool FC Ban As Campaign Lobbies Everton

Sun journalists banned from the ground at Anfield.

11/02/2017 09:43 GMT | Updated 11/02/2017 09:47 GMT
Liverpool FC - Handout via Getty Images
Flags in the stands at the memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster

The Sun newspaper has responded to the decision by Liverpool FC to ban its journalists from attending matches over coverage of the Hillsborough disaster.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned paper said the policy announced on Friday was “bad for fans and bad for football”.

Liverpool executives made the decision on Thursday night, the Independent reported. The policy will mean Sun journalists are not allowed access to the ground at Anfield or Liverpool’s training facility.

Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment
The policy will mean Sun journalists are not allowed access to the ground at Anfield or Liverpool’s training facility

Last year an inquest found that the 96 fans who died in the 1989 tragedy were unlawfully killed.

The day after that verdict, both The Sun and its sister title The Times were criticised for failing to carry the news on their first edition front pages. The Times later apologised and carried the verdict on its front page. 

The inquest findings were a huge embarrassment for The Sun, which infamously accused hooligans of causing the disaster, just four days after it happened, under the headline: “The Truth.”

The newspaper apologised for its coverage of Hillsborough in 2012.

Kelvin McKenzie, the editor at the time, continues to work for The Sun as a columnist.

A campaign titled Total Eclipse Of The S*n tweeted to say it had met with Liverpool bosses to discuss the ban this week.

“Further to conversations with LFC directors we are happy to inform you that S*n journalists are no longer [able to] enjoy access to all club premises,” the campaign wrote.

Campaign group members say they have convinced dozens of shops to stop selling the paper. Liverpool City Council and Wirral Council have also voted to back the bid.

The campaign is now lobbying Everton FC to ban The Sun in a similar way.

Liverpool Manager Jürgen Klopp had previously declined to answer questions from Sun journalists. 

In its statement responding to the ban, The Sun said: “The Sun and Liverpool FC have had a solid working relationship for the 28 years since the Hillsborough tragedy.

“Banning journalists from a club is bad for fans and bad for football.

“The Sun can reassure readers this won’t affect our full football coverage.

“The Sun deeply regrets its reporting of the tragic events at Hillsborough and understands the damage caused by those reports is still felt by many in the city.

“A new generation of journalists on the paper congratulate the families on the hard fought victory they have achieved through the inquest.

“It is to their credit that the truth has emerged and, whilst we can’t undo the damage done, we would like to further a dialogue with the city and to show that the paper has respect for the people of Liverpool.”