The Saints v The Sun: who will budge first?

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When the news broke that Southampton Football Club was to stop allowing newspaper photographers into matches at St Mary's,  and appoint one agency to sell the photographs from just one official source, I feared the consequences. 

Since then The Sun have been refusing to use the name Southampton or to comment upon their play in match reports.

With this there has also been a noticeable lack of speculation over who could be moving in and who could be moving out of St Mary's. 

I can’t imagine that The Sun are terribly worried about Southampton supporters stopping buying their newspaper: so are the football club concerned about the most popular newspaper in the country refusing to recognise them? 

Their dispute with a local newspaper led to reporters being refused entry to the ground the club so the club have shown that they don’t have too much fear about upsetting the written media.

With this still going on and - with a website that they would like to be used by supporters as the first choice for information - I don’t see the Saints management backing down too quickly. 

The other benefit to the club and supporters is that less speculation about future transfers will hopefully mean that people will concentrate more on today than thinking about what will happen today. 

Whether this turns out to be a long dispute or a short spat, at this stage I see the newspaper as the one that will have to make the move. 

As if Saints haven’t got enough on their plate the search is now on for a new boss following the departure of Alan Pardew yesterday. 

Dean Wilkins has been placed in temporary charge while the search for a new manager begins, with Gianfranco Zola, Paul Tisdale and Eddie Howe the early frontrunners, although it has emerged today that former Portsmouth boss Paul Hart is now the leading candidate.

Wilkins told the club's official website: "I think in any situation like this, there's the initial jaw drop and then it's back to work and I think that's the case.

"A large majority of the players in the changing room have seen situations like this before, so I think as soon as we get in on Tuesday morning we'll do our preparation right and as soon as we wake up it will be a case of being back to business.

"It's nothing unusual in football. Unfortunately it's life and life goes on, and the football club will go on. The team will respond and I'm sure they will do that in the right way." 

*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association. 

League One

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