A football club?s move to limit access to press photographers from a single photo agency – effectively banning all other snappers – has backfired.

Last week Southampton Football Club told the sports media it would only permit photographers from photo agency Digital South into its ground this season.

As part of the deal Digital South would have been able to syndicate its images from matches to other media outlets.

However, the agency?s boss Robin Jones has since told reporters that he has refused to sign a deal with the club on principle.

Meanwhile, Telegraph Media Group has said it will not use any of the club?s pictures.

The Sun newspaper lambasted the club?s boss, calling his attitude ?draconian?.

In a report published today the paper adds: ?After so many dismal years of decline Southampton need all the publicity they can get while they fight their way back up the divisions.

?What they don?t need is a dictator who thinks he knows what?s best for the club by denying fans the pictures they deserve??

Steven Downes, secretary of the Sports Journalists? Association, praised Digital South’s decision not to go ahead: ?In these tough economic times for the media, Digital South has opted to do something which will cost their business.

?Robin and his colleagues should be thanked by all sports journalists for taking a difficult, principled stance.?

Southampton FC declined to comment when contacted by Amateur Photographer on Friday afternoon and again this morning.