Oarsome! But no thanks...

Dear Editor,

As grateful as I am for a mention in your journal, I feel I must politely decline the Trireme Award so kindly bestowed upon us.

Sportsbeat is ever-conscious of the disdain with which employers treat we freelances. We accept most rates that are imposed on us, we wait for ever for payment and, irritatingly, we are sometimes told "don't bother now, we're not using it" after preparing work.

All, of course, in return for a demand for accurate copy, quickly delivered and usually exclusive.

Consequently, when we need to hire people we are acutely conscious we should not treat them in the same fashion.

However, our biggest contract is with the aforementioned Non-League Paper, who employ us to manage their team of match correspondents.

This season, the NLP has taken the decision that it cannot pay for reports from every league it covers. We have had the task of telling the people involved the bad news. Not great for them. Not a great job for us - then someone has to do it.

I think, on this occasion, we can waive the traditional dozen lashes as punishment.

However, I would appreciate a clarification in your columns as our name will have been inadvertently blackened by your news item.

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