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English soccer club bans reporter over ‘Muppet Christmas Carol’ gif

Jesse Reed
Manchester City, Arsenal
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

A 2nd-tier soccer club in England, the Bolton Wanderers, has banned a local newspaper’s beat reporter, Marc Iles, from all home matches, press conferences and access to staff.

The ban went into effect after Iles posted the following tweet on Friday.

Iles was banned due to the inclusion of the “Muppet Christmas Carol” gif included in his tweet about players and coaches being paid, which the club says was “offensive and amateurish.”

According to the Bolton News, which issued a column supporting Iles in this dispute, Wanderers owner Ken Anderson has had an ax to grind against Iles, who’s been covering the team’s financial woes of late.

Per the newspaper, the club’s financial situation has been “desperate,” with players and staff being forced to take legal measures in court over money owed to them.

This is happening at a time with Anderson is trying to sell his team, which he clearly does not appreciate.