This site has plenty of sympathy for the anger and annoyance expressed by Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson, having ourselves suffered from the shoddier side of that paper's reporting.
In today's edition agent Steven Denos is awarded ample space to give a version of events last year concerning the transfer of Anthony Tonkin that some might suggest bears little relation to reality. The Western Gazette, particularly its Sports Department, has shown an unendearing habit of printing one-sided accounts, without bothering to ascertain the response of those under attack, or verify that the claims it is publishing have substance. We well recall the supposed prospect of bayonettings at the Wessex Stadium, and allegations Ciderspace was being sued.
Rather than giving the rantings of Mr. Denos the oxygen of further publicity we shall simply record the response of Gary Johnson as issued on the Official Site this afternoon:
I felt I have to respond to the totally one-sided inaccurate story in today's Western Gazette concerning Anthony Tonkin, especially as it will be seven days before the next issue of the paper. The Gazette have been good to Yeovil Town Football Club over the years and I feel we have been good to them as well, but to give the "club pest" Steve Denos the amount of space they have to fabricate this story is very disappointing especially, without at least contacting me for my views on the subject.
The first thing to say is that Steve Denos does approach our players while they are in contract which is illegal. That is not just the two players he has been involved with but other players as well who have all asked politely for him not to bother them. I don't like to have to comment on a story that is some ten months old now but I feel our supporters and players have a right to know the truth of the matter.
Anthony Tonkin signed a new deal that trebled his wages at the time. He decided to sign that contract knowing a clause would be inserted allowing him to leave the club if a bid of £50K was received by Yeovil. I felt that was a better option than waiting to be a free agent in the knowledge that the club would not stand in his way should that bid come in.
Anthony Tonkin was well informed of the interest of Stockport County as they had approached him the year before, which he turned down, and I tried to advise him that maybe Stockport wasn't his best option. So over a two day period I tried to convince Anthony that his future lay at Yeovil. I was then contacted by Denos to ask me not to make any contact with HIS player. I of course considered him to be OUR player. I told Tonkin to report for the Halifax game but for whatever reason Denos and Gordon Taylor of the PFA told Tonkin he did not have to turn up and he didn't as we all know.
At that point we knew there was to be no turning back now because we now had a player that goes against the Football Club and takes advice from outside sources. Once that happens a manager loses that bond with the player that has been built over a period of time. In the end as we all know, he went to Stockport but we fined him a proportion of his wages, which was paid, showing that we were correct in expecting him to attend the Halifax game and honouring his contract.
Unfortunately The Western Gazette have allowed this agent to distort the truth and there are some very interesting comments in that article which I shall be following up. I think the most annoying point is why our local paper is giving so much space and putting provocative headlines to a story that is ten months old when here we are two weeks away from our debut as a Football League Club, something everybody in the area has craved for and will benefit from.
Unfortunately I'm having to keep this man's name in the news but I cannot let the article pass without comment. I'm not going to let my supporters go seven days without some response. I hope everybody realises how this chap works. It is no shock to me that both Michael McIndoe and Anthony Tonkin only became disillusioned with our club after contact with Steve Denos.
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