What a save!
August 13, 2010 7:14 AM   Subscribe

When greedy sports team ban press photographers, cartoonist saves the day. Southampton Football Club decided to ban press photographers from their home matches, and sell their own photos to the press. Plymouth Herald hires a cartoonist instead.

Southampton lost the match: Southhampton 0 - Plymouth Argyle 1, and cartoonist Chris Robinson may get a weekly job at the paper, for more drawings in the style of the classic comic "Roy of the Rovers".

The photo ban continues. A second newpaper, Bournemouth Echo, used photos from 1987.
posted by iviken (31 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I read somewhere (probably Deadspin) that there's a pretty good chance they'll move up to the top league. I wonder if this would hinder their chances at all. Or at least force them to get rid of the ban because I can't imagine telling the papers that there won't be pictures from the game against (insert some good English top league team because I don't know).
posted by theichibun at 7:20 AM on August 13, 2010

This is cool and horrible. I'm not a sports fan, but banning photographers is the wrong way to go. I believe that at music concerts as well. Artists and athletes want to control their images and make money. They want to make sure the photos of them picking their ass don't end up online. Sorry. It'll happen regardless, so by banning it all you are doing is alienating your fans.

The best shows I've been to are the ones where the fans are encouraged to take pics and to record or whatever.

I could see this extending to political rallies. "The candidate wants to make sure you know his photos cost $45 more than his challenger's."

I occasionally have had to deal with this sort of thing, and in every case where I was refused a photo I've ended up using something way substandard. No one wins then. I do like the cartoons. I think they should have had the writer do them though. Then when they looked like shit the teams would either relent or learn to love suckage.

They should just run flickr photos!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:23 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ha! Awesome.
posted by Gator at 7:25 AM on August 13, 2010

They're missing out on a great opportunity to editorialize in these cartoons by getting the cartoonist to draw the anti-photo team as a bunch of fat cats with top hats and monocles, too busy kicking orphans to get control of the ball.
posted by No-sword at 7:33 AM on August 13, 2010 [19 favorites]

They should just run flickr photos!

That's a great idea.

Also, I would love to see the newspaper delve into the absurd, or metaphorical--a photo ostensibly of a goalie making a save could be a picture of a bear catching a salmon, or the full moon shot through the dark boughs of a tree.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:33 AM on August 13, 2010 [6 favorites]

ok. i didn't read the articles. but this is TOO funny.
posted by msconduct at 7:42 AM on August 13, 2010

I was surprised -- the cartoons are quite good! Talk about making lemonade from lemons!
posted by schmod at 7:55 AM on August 13, 2010

Not content with watching local rivals Portsmouth implode into oblivion, The Saints want a share of south coast ridicule. As if getting relegated twice in 4 years wasn't hilarious enough.

Extra fun for me as a Coventry City fan as Ray Ranson/SISU taking us over (in preference to Southampton) saved our bacon and left the Soton board to totally ruin the club.

Add to this the fact that Brighton & Hove Albion are getting ready to move to a great new stadium next August and it looks like south coast footie is going to start & end in Sussex (by the sea).
posted by i_cola at 7:56 AM on August 13, 2010

I want this guy to cover the Phils too.
posted by Mister_A at 7:57 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Sun wrote: "Opposition 0 - Plymouth 1". (Picture credit: PLYMOUTH ARGYLE FC).
posted by iviken at 8:03 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm a Southampton supporter. This is good and bad. Good as the people that really care about the team will go to the games or the website - both are the best ways of seeing it. The netted income will go to saving the team from going further into administration (as it has been in dire financial trouble recently). What's more - the owner of Southampton (or at least the biggest provider of funds to the club) died within the last few days. Also not good. The only negative they get from this as a team is a slight down play in the press. The massively greedy, indredibley wealthy news conglomerates and press that would make money on reporting about them sells their stories to to the general public who are not really bothered about seeing a picture, or a cartoon. But for the proper fans and supporters - money earned for their club to simply stay alive, is worth a slight downplay in the press. Remember that money made for the press, is not money made for the club.
posted by Cogentesque at 8:04 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

They should get the guy from MSPaint Adventures to do these instead. That way by the end of the season you'll have animated gifs of Davies as a Candy Corn Vampire or Lambert practicing a bit of Sleuth Diplomacy.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:04 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

The fourth image from the BBC link is brilliant. It depicts the cartoonist in his armchair, sketching the match off his TV with a mound of beer and cider on the table to his left. Now that is a job!
posted by ninebelow at 8:08 AM on August 13, 2010

I prefer the cartoons. This should become a new standard for sports journalism.
posted by Tashtego at 8:16 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

The massively greedy, indredibley wealthy news conglomerates and press that would make money on reporting about them

You know, because the team doesn't get anything out of being in the news. Nothing at all.
posted by inigo2 at 8:24 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

cjorgensen: They should just run flickr photos!

It's a nice idea, but ...
® Only photographers who have a media accreditation can take and publish photos from the grounds
® Fans can take photos for private use – if they attempt to publish them they are in breech of the ground entry conditions, ticket and season ticket conditions
® For a site to publish photographs they have to first have an End User Photographic Agreement which comes in 2 forms – Level One and Level Two – I have attached examples of both. In each agreement there is a concept of time windows relating to publishing – I have attached a explanation of time windows
® There is a fee attached to the End User Photographic Agreement – the minimum cost is £500 +VAT for a single league at a Level One agreement which allows post match publishing and 3 in-game time windows if required
® With the End User Photographic Agreement you can then purchase photos from a company that has media accreditation

Cogentesque: The only negative they get from this as a team is a slight down play in the press

I'm sympathetic to this view. The football press are, amazingly, even worse than the general press in a lot of cases. However, do you not think it's also a potential negative for Southampton's sponsors, to not be covered in the papers? I'm asking, as I have no clue what the sponsors and advertisers think, although I've heard that season ticket sales did well.
posted by smcg at 8:25 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think they should get children to draw the cartoons - for instance - to maximise the ridicule.
posted by raygirvan at 8:26 AM on August 13, 2010

The netted income ...

Except no one bought any of the pics from south hampton, and no one ever will, because south hampton can't stop the other team from letting people take pictures and give them away from free. So it's just a lose-lose situation.
posted by nomisxid at 8:29 AM on August 13, 2010

I think the photo ban is incredibly stupid and I feel bad for the club's supporters having to deal with all the ridicule. That said, the cartoons are ace.

Premier League season starts tomorrow! So excited! COYB!
posted by Put the kettle on at 8:32 AM on August 13, 2010

There is such a thing as bad press.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 8:40 AM on August 13, 2010

there's a pretty good chance they'll move up to the top league

They're in the third division at the moment, so not this season, they won't. But Ladbrokes (11/4) and Blue Square (5/2) both have them as favorites to win League One.

On topic, if they let him do cartoon reports for every game, I will completely become a Plymouth Argyle supporter. The odds they'd ever play Celtic at anything are pretty slim, anyway.
posted by jackflaps at 9:14 AM on August 13, 2010

I look forward to Southampton bringing on Martin Kemp in their next match.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:14 AM on August 13, 2010

I love this, both as protest and as ingenuity.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:33 AM on August 13, 2010

Wouldn't do for me to be a sports editor. I'd just keep reporting all their games as 1-0 losses regardless of the actual score, and have the cartoonist produce his cartoons without even referring to actual events.

First start changing the weather. Then show the wrong opposing team. Eventually start dropping hints of a Tintin adventure going on in the background.
posted by Naberius at 10:14 AM on August 13, 2010 [5 favorites]

That cartoon would be funnier if it consistently put Southampton in the role of Wile E. Coyote, cats Sylvester and Tom, Elmer Fudd, etc.

They should lose every time, is what I'm saying.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:16 AM on August 13, 2010

So what will happen if, say, they make it to the third/fourth round of the FA cup and end up playing Manu or Arsenal?

I think this is a stupid idea, I cannot see it making them the sort of money they need to stay clear of administration, especially as the last few years have been harsh.
posted by marienbad at 12:12 PM on August 13, 2010

@nomisxid: "south hampton can't stop the other team from letting people take pictures" - Southampton, one word; and I'm not a legal type but when the game is in their stadium, I think they can do exactly that. By the same token, I don't imagine they can enforce the rule when they play away.

@smcg: interesting, thanks. Nonetheless flickr appears to be full of photos taken at matches. Perhaps flickr has the agreement in place, but it seems unlikely all the fans who took them have licenses! I imagine clubs turn a blind eye as it stands, but would rapidly stop doing so if the photos appeared in newspapers.

I liked the cartoons.
posted by Slyfen at 1:32 PM on August 13, 2010

I think they should get children to draw the cartoons - for instance - to maximise the ridicule.

What an amazing show of athleticism we have seen today.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 1:33 PM on August 13, 2010

So my beloved football team makes the mefi front page once again! But why is it always the embarrassing stuff?

In a nutshell, the club's position is that it is not restricting press freedom but just protecting its image rights and the associated value. Not wholly unreasonable, but probably not a battle that needed to be picked right now. Have to say I thought the cartoons to be hugely amusing. The Bournemouth Echo (Southampton played Bournemouth on Tuesday) ran pictures of the last time the teams played alongside their match report... which was over 20 years ago!

The Saints have no sponsors this season. It is the club's 125th anniversary, and to commemorate that event, the club has a special kit (white shirt with red sash, as originally worn when the club first formed, versus the now traditional red and white stripes), without a sponsor logo.

The club was taken over last summer, on the brink of extinction, with the backing of a Swiss multi-billionaire industrialist, and therefore the sponsorship income was deemed to be irrelevant in this season of celebration and great promise.

But right now, nobody concerned with Southampton football club cares one bit about the press reaction to the photography ban. Why? Because sadly our billionaire saviour passed away on Tuesday, aged 62.

RIP Markus Liebherr
posted by saintsguy at 2:34 PM on August 13, 2010

No sponsor? None at all?
posted by A189Nut at 4:55 PM on August 13, 2010

cjorgensen: They should just run flickr photos!

I think this comment was made with good intentions, but the world of photography has really been hurt by cannibalization of the licensing market. Flickr has already partnered up with Getty images; companies have also abused amateur photographers (who aren't expected to fully know how to negotiate usage/rights/licensing) on Flickr for large ad campaigns.

A slightly unrelated NY Times piece on how prosumer industry is affecting professional photographers.

It would be a great way to crowd source images when faced with a photography ban, but the trickle down effects are a huge negative — analog media is hurting and wrecking havoc on rates for all sorts of people in the creative industry. Obviously I'm focused on the photography aspect of this conversation because that's my trade, but I'm sure writers, illustrators, graphic designers, and everyone else are seeing their rates getting pinched or jobs being given away to non-professionals.
posted by skidknee at 4:57 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

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