LIVE: Phil Hay describes the chaos of covering Leeds United


By Tom Connell 

The Yorkshire Evening Post’s chief football writer has described the “day to day chaos” of covering Leeds United for the last decade.

Phil Hay has seen 700 matches over the last 10 years – including a promotion, a relegation, administration and an unprecedented 15-point penalty from the Football League while reporting on the events at Elland Road.

Phil stated that his access to controversial chairman Massimo Cellino has deteriorated.

He said: “My relationship with Cellino has broken down so much to the point that we don’t speak. I find it difficult to see how the club can progress the way he’s running it.

“Although that opinion has softened slightly this season because of the people he has appointed.

“His methods deserve scrutinizing,  and if the local media aren’t going to do that then who is.”

Phil believes the club will not be promoted under Cellino.

He says he’s had more than his fair share of criticism from people who have been at the club over the years, but believes it is always important to remain impartial. He’s been threatened with being sued and banned from press conferences.

Phil added: “Sometimes people at the club want you to delay articles or not print them – never do that without a good reason.”

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


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.”

LIVE: Leeds United reporter reflects on changes in the journalism industry


By Matthew Brannen and Tom Connell 

A local football reporter reflected on the changes in the media industry and local journalism over the past 15 years.

Phil is the chief football writer at the Yorkshire Evening Post and is responsible for the daily coverage of Leeds United Football Club.

He said: “The industry has changed beyond all recognition since I graduated in 2001.”

“When I graduated he says there was no online audience at all- there has been a shift in recent years towards online journalism, and it was impossible to envisage this happening eight years ago.

“Newspapers are still making more money at the moment as there is an issue with papers struggling to make money from online content.

“It is difficult to imagine newspapers now surviving without also having a website.”

Phil also reflected that through the internet, traditional  restrictions on reporting have been removed as before newspaper websites, there was no scope for reporting until  printing resumed the next day.

Phil added: “The situation has now changed and the landscape is completely different. Nowadays we are all things to all men.”

As well as the internet creating the possibility of 24 hour reporting, Phil told the audience how it has also created additional job roles, as social media and digital content are posts that can be applied for.

Phil Hay: Quiet Cellino suggests Leeds United sale

By Alex Miller

Yorkshire Evening Post chief football correspondent Phil Hay has questioned the motives behind Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino’s backseat approach this season.

The unpredictable Italian has received praise for a hands off approach that has helped his club reach their highest league position since he bought the club in January 2014.

Speaking ahead of his appearance at Leeds Trinity University’s Journalism Week, Phil admitted he has suspicions over whether the unpredictable Italian is taking a back seat merely in an attempt to sell part of the Elland Road side.

He said: “There has been a lot of talk recently about the prospect of him selling some stake in the club, whether it be majority or minority.

“We know that he’s in talks with the Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani, the man who founded MP & Silva, the big global sports media company.

“As far as we can tell that is still on going and you do wonder to some extent whether Cellino is keeping quiet because the negotiations on that front are requiring him to.” [Read more…]