The club wish to comment on the article written by Lorraine Tinney on the front page of today’s Greenock Telegraph under the headline: BLIND FURY, Morton deny fans access to special commentary box.
The tone of the article has given the inference that the club has denied access to visually impaired fans as a deliberate act. The Tele Says opinion piece states the club locked out a blind fan. This again besmirches the club by inaccurate comment. Greenock Morton Football Club has never and will never openly exclude anyone who wishes to watch games at Cappielow.
The facts of the matter are that in an inspection of the stadium in respect of our Safety Certificate, it was found that persons using the commentary box had changed the locks and the club had no access. Entry was gained, and it was found that there were several electric heaters plus television and catering equipment in the room. These were not installed or been professionally tested by the club, and were deemed to be a significant fire risk by a professionally qualified person.
Given the obvious safety issues that were highlighted during the annual electrical testing by outside contractors , the supply had to be cut to the room or the Safety Certificate was not going to be issued by Inverclyde Council.
It is not the club’s objective to deny access to persons using this room, but as a responsible company we must ensure that the health and safety of persons visiting the stadium is paramount.
We are currently in the process of assessing upgrades and the future use of the room, including use by the Blind Association. We will ensure we make the best use of this room for our fans and the Inverclyde community as a whole.
Last month we received an email from a Mr Stewart, who uses the room, asking for an update. He received a reply and was asked to provide information on use but did not respond. He did though choose to contact local MSP Stuart McMillan and The Greenock Telegraph.
Yesterday morning an email was received at the club from Ms Tinney. We responded advising on the safety reasons for this action and advising that we were looking at how best to use this room for the benefit of our fans and the community.
Until that process is completed, Mr Robertson who featured in the article, will continue to be welcomed as a guest of the club and we will ensure he takes in the game in a secure and safe location.
In respect of the club’s relationship with The Greenock Telegraph, we have introduced a new process of channelling all interview requests through the football management team. This process is standard at most football clubs but is a change to the previous arrangement where the Telegraph contacted players independently and without consultation with the club. We will continue to work with The Telegraph to provide exclusive stories of interest to our fans, and we believe this new way of working will enhance the quality and delivery.