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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 18:52 GMT 19:52 UK
Access Denied
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With the huge amounts of money now involved in the football industry, the role of branding and marketing has become central to the national game. Anything that is seen to present a negative image of football is very unwelcome.

During the making of this series, a number of clubs and footballing authorities were approached to contribute. The Football Association refused us permission to use any footage of football matches.

They stated that their responsibilities involved "maintaining and promoting a positive image for football".

Hooligans face the police near Millwall FC
Milllwall hooligans confront the police
Millwall Football Club declined to take part in the programme. Despite the extraordinary scenes of violence and disorder we filmed involving Millwall hooligans, the club preferred not to be interviewed.

They claim to have taken a lot of action against the hooligans who tarnish the image of the club, but still preferred not to contribute to our film.

Cardiff City set stringent conditions on appearing in the programme - conditions that no broadcaster would comply with - claiming that the BBC was embarked on a crusade against Welsh football.

We also approached Stoke City, another club with a very problematic hooligan following, and a club which has gone to great lengths to combat the problem - including a joint initiative with Port Vale called True Supporters Against Violence. Stoke too, preferred not to appear in the series.

The exception to this rule was Bristol City. Colin Sextone, the Chief Executive, agreed to be interviewed about the appalling scenes at the match in Cardiff and was frank enough to admit to the role of Bristol City hooligans in some of the trouble.

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