Certain sections of the National Press just don`t like the little guy, ask any Wigan Athletic supporter, we often receive what appears at times to be very prejudiced and derogatory comments, usually about attendances, but they can be about any aspect of the club or town, just something to poke fun at, demean the club or disparage the supporters.
Last season on Remembrance Sunday when we played Fulham at the DW Stadium that bastion of high class broadcasting Match of the Day 2 ran one of the most insulting features I have ever witnessed, comparing Wigan to Rome, showing images of the tourist attractions of the Eternal City alongside some of our, shall we say, less desirable spots, whilst contrasting between classical opera and brass band music, more time was spent on this intro than on the game`s highlights.
The reasoning was that Fulham had played in Rome in the Europa Cup the week before, any excuse to take a swipe.
There was an outcry at the time, emails sent to the beeb and complaints made about the insensitivity of it all, especially with it being Remembrance Day, anyway, a few responses were received by complaining Latics fans but nothing to really appease the mood.
A year on and the Latics are still the butt of the jokes, the National papers still `having a go` but enough is enough, it`s time to fight back and one Latics fan and Vital Wigan member, Paul Thorp, aka Thorpyness has done just that.
The Daily Mail in particular appear to be one publication that doesn`t like the Latics, throughout this season there have been articles, features and match reports that have been scathing as far as the Latics are concerned, concentrating more on matters off the field such as crowds than anything that happens on the field. One such instance was the recent Carling Cup 4th round tie against Swansea City at the DW Stadium.
Keeping down the match day costs and not expecting a sell out crowd the club took the decision to close the South Stand for the game, the attendance that evening was 11,705 compared to the seasons average of 14,308, not a bad attendance considering that the Carling Cup isn`t the best supported competition by any club and to prove that fact on the same evening Manchester United were at home to Wolves in the same competition and experienced a drop of 40%, yes that`s right 40%, in their seasons average attendance and parts of Old Trafford were shut off, but no mention of that in the Mail.
On the match report page for the Latics 2-0 win over Swansea the Mail had reproduced a photograph of the closed off South Stand at the DW Stadium with the caption Empty seats: Wigan’s clash with Swansea was played in front of a relatively sparse crowd intimating that the ground was empty when in actual fact the other three stands were quite full.
A blatant piece of biased journalism that appears to have the intention of once again ridiculing the Latics, now this angered myself and I was compelled, as were a few others, to write a comment on the Mails web page about the fact that it was an untrue reflection on the attendance at the ground, but fair play to Paul Thorp who went one better, he got in touch with the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).
To their credit the PCC acted swiftly and contacted the Mail on Paul`s behalf putting forward his complaint that the picture was not a true reflection of the crowd in attendance at the game. The Daily Mail Assistant Editor Charles Garside decided that the best course of action was to remove the photograph of the South Stand and the caption from the Mail on line website, pity it was put on in the first place.
Garside in his response to the PCC said: “The fact remains that the ground was far less than half capacity.
“Nonetheless…we have, in this instance removed the photograph and caption from the article…which I believe is the appropriate response to resolve this matter”
Paul, although satisfied with the action but not with the Mails response said: “I don`t feel they have actually accepted the complaint
“I feel the actual action as opposed to the written response represents reasonable behaviour on their part but to attempt to pursue the Daily Mail to accept they were wrong could result in a protracted debate”
So a stand has been made against the inaccuracies and lazy journalism that we see aimed at and regarding the Latics, Paul Thorp, through the right approach as got the result that we wanted, hopefully the Mail may lay off for while, who`s next, Paul Wilson anyone?
Latics and Proud
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