Editor of Parramatta Eels fan site told to apologise for offending directors

The editor of the leading Parramatta Eels supporters website “1Eyed Eel” claims he has been suspended by the NRL club after images and comments were posted on the site which the club deemed “derogatory towards the directors”.

Philip Sim, whose daytime job is CEO of media intelligence firm MediaConnect Australia, said he has been told he must run an apology on the site for no less than six months for running a photo of Parramatta chairman Roy Spagnolo which depicted him as a puppet-master.

Philip SimsAccording to Sim, the club has suspended him until he runs the apology and agrees to ensure there is no further negative content posted about the directors of the club.

Sim said that the first he heard of the club’s concerns was when they informed him he would face disciplinary action over the content of the site.

“There were about seven charges, but the only only one that ended sticking was that one of the members posted a satirical cartoon which showed the chairman of the board as a kind of puppet-master over one of the former players,” Sims told Mumbrella.

Two weeks ago Sim attended a disciplinary hearing to face the club. He said this was the first time he has been called before the club in the 10 years he has been running the site.

Sim said is also concerned that club politics may be behind the club’s complaints about the fansite after he made a failed attempt to run for the board.

“It seems very coincidental that I ran for the board and ran a social campaign and it went pretty close to getting up. I don’t know what is running through their minds, but it’s bit of a coincidence that the action happened after that,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Parramatta Eels has rejected Sim’s suggestion that he was suspended. However, the club has yet to reply to repeated requests for official comment.

Sim, a former journalist, said the website was active in preventing defamation and vilification on the website. “We have a terms of service, we abide by Australian law in terms of defamation and copyright and so forth. The comments we allow are within the boundaries of expressions of opinion that every media outlet and social media platform has to abide,” said Sim.

“The club are demanding we go beyond those rule and I’m not prepared to do that.” A petition has been started on Change.org calling on the club to reinstate his membership.

Nic Christensen


  1. JB
    26 Mar 13
    11:26 am

  2. As a mad Eels supporter and huge fan of the One Eyed Eels site (easily the best NRL fan site) this is a total disgrace. Good luck Phil and I know you have the support of the fans. The board should hang their heads in shame…

  3. parrafanalia
    26 Mar 13
    1:52 pm

  4. Keep up the great work that you doing now and have doing over the last 10 years Phil.You are a integral part of the rejuvenation of the mighty Parramatta Eels.You deserve better!

  5. Eels nutter
    26 Mar 13
    2:59 pm

  6. Keep fighting the good fight Phil

    if its one thing the eels board need its to be kept on their toes

    I would have thought that Parramatta need more vocal supporters not less

  7. Jack B. Nimble
    26 Mar 13
    3:15 pm

  8. Isn’t this insane! The NRL wants fans involved, and it needs fans like Sim to stoke the fires of fandom even higher and hotter through websites and discussion boards, but yet Parra and the NRL fails to grasp this basic aspect of online publishing and freedom of speech.

  9. muscledude_oz
    26 Mar 13
    5:35 pm

  10. Has Stephen Conroy changed his name to Roy Spagnolo?

  11. Rob
    27 Mar 13
    8:31 am

  12. How long did that comment take you to post, using your dial up connection Mr Turnbull? Oops, I mean Muscledude?

  13. Just
    27 Mar 13
    11:39 am

  14. This is an easy one isn’t it?

    Tell the bureaucratic directors to stick it and set up an ‘unofficial’ fan site. That way you can be totally independent of red tape and dinosaurs and run an uncensored site, which breaths the true passion of the Eels fans.

    Old school corporate bullies are slowly getting flushed out by smart, free minds.

  15. Achilles Eel
    28 Mar 13
    9:16 pm

  16. Has the Club ever thought about changing the Parramatta eel’s animal mascot to something else? Like, wombats. The Parramatta Wombats. yeah there’s an idea!

  17. Darran Kennedy
    2 Apr 13
    7:43 am

  18. I am not even an eels supporter and I think this does not sound good.

  19. AA
    10 Apr 13
    12:53 pm

  20. Spagnolo needs to have a long hard look at himself