The major British newspapers are reporting that Sevilla manager Juande Ramos may be appointed the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur by the end of the week to replace Dutchman Martin Jol after a poor start to the season.
Rather than ridicule Spurs for the potential decision to remove Jol so quickly, let’s take a minute to compare the reporting of the story by The Guardian, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph newspapers.
As is quite common in British newspapers, two of the above three publications have printed articles without attributing who provided the papers with the inside information. As a former journalist, this irks me quite a bit. Without knowing who the source of the article is, it reads to me as if the article is simply paraphasing what other newspapers are reporting.
For example, Sid Lowe in The Guardian reports that “Juande Ramos has declared his readiness to resign as Sevilla coach.” Says who? Did Ramos state this publicly or in an interview with Lowe or is it simply conjecture?
Sam Wallace at The Independent, meanwhile, at least mentions “sources at Tottenham Hotspur” in his article regarding Spurs’ alleged dissatisfaction with the results against teams in the top four last season. However, it’s unclear who Wallace’s sources are regarding how Ramos’s meeting with Spurs last Friday went.
Out of the three lead reporters, David Bond at The Daily Telegraph does the best job at relaying the facts and providing sources by at least quoting a club spokeswoman and naming which Sevilla newspaper confronted Ramos with photographs of him meeting with Spurs. That said, the official spokespeople — although quoted in the articles by The Telegraph — appear reluctant to say anything newsworthy and are spinning their responses to cause as few ripple effects as possible at Tottenham.
I have no issue with newspapers quoting unnamed sources. However, they should state that instead of leading the reader to guess whether the article is paraphrasing what’s written elsewhere.
Whatever happens, the future looks bleak for Martin Jol.