The Charleston Battery are a soccer team that play in the United Soccer League—the third tier of American soccer, below MLS and the NASL—and average about 4,000 fans a game. You would think they’d be happy with any media coverage they could get, especially from South Carolina’s most-read newspaper. You would think wrong.
The Charleston Post and Courier reported yesterday that the Battery had revoked their press credential. The reason? A P&C business reporter had the temerity to email an inquiry about a lawsuit filed against team owner Eric Bowman.
In November 2015, Bowman sold his software company, SPARC LLC, to Booz Allen Hamilton for $53 million. In a suit filed in South Carolina’s Ninth Judicial Circuit Court last week, two SPARC employees allege that Bowman violated his fiduciary duty to them by misapplying proceeds from the sale, and thus reducing the value of their shares in the company.
Three months after selling his company, in February of this year, Bowman bought the Battery from longtime owner Tony Bakker, which is perhaps why he and the Battery didn’t understand that third tier soccer leagues in America need the press a lot more than the press needs them.
“After reviewing the situation and discussing it with those involved, the Charleston Battery has agreed to return the credential privileges of the Charleston Post and Courier immediately.
“The USL recognizes the importance of media coverage and reporting and values the media’s position of telling the stories of our players, coaches, teams and the League.
“The League has spoken to the Charleston Post and Courier today to discuss the situation and offer its regrets. As one of the League’s oldest franchises the Charleston Battery and USL have had a long relationship with the newspaper and we have always appreciated its coverage of the team and the League.
“We will be taking the appropriate steps to prevent instances like this from happening again.”
h/t Jeff Carlisle