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Football: FANS TELE FURY; Why won't they give League name?

Byline: JOHN MORGAN

FURIOUS Irish League fans are demanding that the Belfast Telegraph call the new Daily Mirror Irish League by its proper name.

BBC, UTV, The Irish News and Newsletter have been praised for their prompt usage of the title - but the Belfast Telegraph has been openly criticised for ignoring the forward thinking Daily Mirror sponsorship.

The Telegraph has been singled out by ordinary fans who accuse it of giving scant regard to the new Daily Mirror sponsorship deal which has helped lift the profile of the Irish League this season.

They claim the image of the league is being damaged as a result.

One Portadown fan who e-mailed us said: "Your coverage and sponsorship has been a God send for the league - even though some other newspapers are trying to ignore it."

Another Glentoran fan commented that the Telegraph and its sister newspapers should give the Daily Mirror Irish League "the publicity and recognition it deserves."

He said: "You see the Barclaycard Premiership and the Bank of Scotland Premier Division plastered all over the Belfast Telegraph - so why not the Daily Mirror Irish League?

"Is there a clause that excludes the Telegraph from giving our league its full title?"

To back up our financial support of the local game, the Daily Mirror

has launched a widely acclaimed eight-page Monday pull-out and a Tuesday fanzone.

Our coverage during the week has increased - as has our Saturday preview section - and we have also introduced several new innovations for Irish League coverage.

High profile columnists - Michael O'Neill, Roy McCreadie, Paul Millar and Chris Morgan - have also joined our team in a bid to raise the standing and profile of the game.

In short - we are selling the Irish League.

A Glentoran fan claimed it was "sickening that the Telegraph group of papers has made thousands of pounds from ordinary punters over the years - and meantime the Daily Mirror invests scarce resources into Irish League football and doesn't get the publicity fit deserves".

He added: "The Telegraph always used the Smirnoff logo so why should the rules be different now? The BBC and UTV have all referred to the Daily Mirror Irish League - and they are in the media business."

Our weekly 'Fanzone' section on the Irish League Forums website has received 5,800 hits in a month as supporters have been given the chance to give their views on a wide range of issues.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 26, 2002
Words:403
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