LIVE: Phil Hay – Ken Bates wouldn’t let me record interviews with him

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By Tom Connell

The chief football writer at the Yorkshire Evening Post has revealed former Leeds United chairman Ken Bates would not allow him to record interviews with him.

Phil Hay, who has been covering Leeds United for the YEP since 2006, says the controversial former owner told him he had to make a shorthand note of their discussions – insisting “no tapes, notes only”.

Bates, who sold Leeds in 2012, endured a rocky relationship with fans of the Elland Road club.

Phil also discussed how publishers are becoming increasingly predatory in their pursuit of online audiences. He believes newspapers are covering stories way outside of their geographical patch to tap in to big fan bases around the world:

He said: “The Daily Record in Glasgow recently began running increased online coverage of Manchester United, which is obviously outside their area. The content bypasses the local old firm fans and reaches Manchester United’s global fanbase which attracts traffic to their website.”

Phil says the YEP will no longer hold back a story for their print edition, something that was typical a decade ago.

He added: “If we pick up a story about a transfer, a sacking or a new contract that will go online straight away. We wouldn’t dream of holding it back.”

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