The Daily Express newspaper is reporting that Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra has sent a letter to each Man City player saying that he’s dissatisfied with the team’s performance in the second half of the year, that each player is up for sale and that he plans on having an entirely new squad before the new season begins.
Expect the news to create quite a storm through the blogosphere and in the online newspapers around the world today. But, is the news even true? Daily Express reporter Richard Tanner fails to name one source in his article. This is one thing I hate about the British tabloids. There are no facts in this article, just rumors.
The Guardian put the story in their rumors section where it rightfully belongs instead of their news section. The Daily Telegraph wrote a piece about the story and attributed the news to the Express, which is often rare for a British newspaper to do so. Perhaps if the story isn’t true they can point their fingers at the Express and say “they said it, not us.”
Not surprisingly, the official Manchester City website doesn’t mention anything about the story. Even if it was true, I’m sure the club wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole. Interestingly, their web site does have a section called “What The Papers Say.” City has so far decided not to put that article in there (for good reason, the City fans would riot if the story is true).
When a newspaper is writing an article and cannot use the person’s name because he or she wants to remain anonymous, the writer should clue the reader in to the source of the story. “An unnamed source inside Manchester City Football Club today revealed that” or something similar. Otherwise, how does the newspaper expect us to believe the story?