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Airing out some dirty laundry

I didn’t want to have to do this publicly but this method is my only recourse.

Last spring I was approached by an editor for the UK MMA magazine “Fighters.” There’s at least one other major MMA magazine in the UK with a similar title so to make sure there is no confusion, the editor of “Fighters” is a guy by the name of Paul Clifton.

Paul recruited me and made all kinds of promises and said a lot of great things that he never delivered on. To make a long story short, I’ve written four total articles for two separate issues and I haven’t received anything in the way of compensation.

I’ve been trying to secure payment since the middle of the summer and am only going public as a last resort. I’ve also warned them about going public with this situation on multiple occasions. I’ve either received excuses, no response, a promise to send payment with no payment ever being sent, or a returned e-mail.

I was even in contact with one of Paul’s subordinates several weeks ago and agreed to a “settlement.” I wasn’t completely happy with the amount we agreed to because it was well below my rate and would have never written for the magazine in the first place at that submission fee. I still accepted the off because something is better than nothing and I just wanted to move on. Unfortunately, even after giving them an out, Paul’s subordinate suddenly stopped responding to my e-mails and left me with no other choice.

I doubt I will ever receive anything from them but I didn’t want to allow them to screw me over like this without a fight. I also wanted to warn fellow writers while also making readers of their magazine aware Paul Clifton commissions writers to submit articles and in my case, never compensates them what was promised.

I’ve been a freelance writer for much of my life so I’ve experienced this before. Believe it or not, many deals with print publications are done with handshakes. Paul presented himself as a man of his word and he’s clearly not as it pertains to this instance. But according to one of his subordinates, he has a reputation for dishonest behavior.

If anyone from “Fighters” wants to dispute anything said here, I will gladly give them equal time. They should be forewarned though, as I have e-mails to verify EVERYTHING that’s been said here and I won’t hesitate to post them publicly if they have questions about the accuracy of anything that I’ve written here.

There aren’t a lot of freelance MMA writing jobs out there that pay so I’m not telling anyone not to write for one of Paul Clifton’s magazines. However, I am warning you to make sure that you’re extra careful when you work for this guy.

20 COMMENTS
  • [...] Sam Caplan means business. [...]

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  • ossBASHA says:

    You should go public on British mma forums. Maybe you already did?

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    oss,

    I haven’t done that yet. I’m cool if other people want to spread the word though.

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  • Sorry to hear about this Sam.

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  • Tony Fennen says:

    I hate that when people order something and then dont pay for it.
    Maybe you should contact some of their advertisers….
    I know I would
    Good Luck with the collection process.

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  • Maybe its something to do with their company going into liquidation…

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Hywel:

    How recently did they go into liquidation? This has been going on since the summer.

    It would have been nice if they would have been up front about their financial situation.

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  • Mark Pickering says:

    I had similar problems with a well-known British magazine.

    Good luck chasing them down.

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  • Billy Gamble says:

    Nice website Teague

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  • dizzle says:

    Sam I’ve learned that you should recieve 50% up front before doing anything.

    Sucks that you haven’t been paid…i know the feeling.

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  • Dr J says:

    What magazine is this even? Never heard of it. Anyone have a link to their site, if they even have one. Hope you get your coin Sam.

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  • I’ve had similar experiences, many people resort to blaming their junk email folder, and then still fail to give you the money they owe you.

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  • Evan says:

    Good luck Sam.

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  • jjdnb says:

    I’m glad you brought it out publicly. I run a security company and I get screwed all the time on payment…and that even when they sign contracts!
    Too bad we cant send James “The Colossus” Thomson to collect for us!

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  • #10 The problem is that magazine writing doesn’t work that way. Maybe guys who write for Rolling Stone and Esquire are on retainer, but freelance writing is tough. You submit your piece and then cross your fingers that they pay you within 2-3 months…if ever. If you don’t like it there are lots of other starving writers who will gladly take the work.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    It’s amazing how much e-mail I’ve received from people in regard to deadbeats in the MMA industry ranging from other mags that are published in the UK to small regional MMA promotions in the U.S.

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  • Sam Cupitt says:

    Excuse my ignorance but, its 1.21 am here, and its 2.18 pm where you typed that… so when is the Dana White press conference?

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  • Jennifer says:

    Hi Sam…I’m an attorney who reads your site almost daily. Sorry to hear about your dispute. Sometimes all folks need is a threatening letter from a lawyer. Happy to help, pro bono of course. Email me if you’re interested.

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  • dizzle says:

    Sam it’s a growing industry…things like this happen with shady companies.

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  • Sam, email sent re your q

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