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Sunday, December 5, 2021

BLOG: Fighting for media coverage

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad, the Kent Open and co-promoter of the Canary Wharf Classic. Launched the Squash 200 Partnership to build clubs of the future. Talks a bit.

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From Matthew Syed's column in The Times. Thanks to Howard Harding for sending.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Guardian newspaper has a fantastic website. That’s probably why so few people buy the actual printed version.

This week the website launched the Guardian Sport Network, claiming to increase their sports coverage and saying:

“Guardian.co.uk/sport has partnered with a range of sites to diversify our content and promote an open model of journalism”

I jumped on to the Forum and posted the following:

This would be an ideal opportunity to address The Gurdian’s appalling coverage of squash.

England’s Nick Matthew retained his World Open title on Sunday in Rotterdam but this fantastic achievement was completely ignored by your sports staff.

If nothing else, you might wish to add these links:

www.squashplayer.co.uk
www.squashsite.co.uk
www.squashuk.com

A few hours later, I posted:

Still no response about your lack of squash coverage ……

The Guardian’s Sean Ingle replied the following day:

Hi SquashMan, apologies for the delay in responding. We should have covered Nick Matthew’s World Open win and we will add those links to guardian.co.uk/sport/squash. However I can’t promise our squash coverage will be much more comprehensive in the future: as much as we’d like to cover every sport in great depth, the truth is that we have to make hard choices about what we cover, and squash isn’t a priority. Apologies and best, Sean.

I then posted this response:

Sean: Thanks for having the courtesy to respond, although your refusal to cover a major sport with an English world champion is absolutely staggering.
Some might feel it’s grossly insulting and offensive.
British tennis would be turning cartwheels if it had a world number one, other players ranked three and seven, and a total of five players in the top 20.
Come and watch the Canary Wharf Classic in March.
I’ll send you some tickets, and hope we can have a chat over a beer.

I then added:

That should read: We can have a chat with world champion Nick Matthew over a beer. Then you can tell him why you’re ignoring his sport.

+++

Rod Gilmour got a good show in the Daily Telegraph on Monday morning and Matthew Syed mentioned Nick’s World Open win in his column on Wednesday, expressing the commendable view that he is one of the nation’s finest sportsmen.

Remember, this is the Matthew Syed who wrote a piece in The Times a few years ago about squash dying a sad, lonely death only to review his thinking when he took a deeper interest in the game and enjoyed the energy, passion and excitement of top-level pro tournaments.

Hopefully, his colleagues on The Times sports desk can take note of his comments.

In years gone by, The Times, Telegraph and Guardian all employed freelance squash correspondents, but only the Telegraph is showing any interest in the sport at the moment.

A friend suggested this ought to be a job for the marketing team at England Squash and Racketball and their PR agency in Manchester. I am sure the media experts at WSF, PSA and WISPA would wish to assist.

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