Friday, January 28, 2022

Exclusive – Don’t believe everything you read!

Somebody once said that you shouldn‘t believe everything you read in the newspapers. Yesterday gave us a pretty good example of why that is particularly true when it comes to the Sports pages.


Former Sunderland manager and current boss of the Thailand national team Peter Reid was a very confused man yesterday if you believe everything you read about him.

The Sky Sports website was carrying a story entitled , ‘Reid keen on Black Cats role.’ At the same time the BBC Sports website was running a story entitled, ‘Reid rules out Sunderland return.’

Sky Sports were quoting an interview with Reid alleged to have been given to the Daily Mail newspaper. It quoted Reid as saying,

“I would be interested. Everyone aspires to work in England. It’s the place to be. The players here dream about it and I know I won’t be working abroad forever. There is a clause in my contract which allows me to speak to English clubs if they show interest, so that would be up to Niall Quinn. I do know Niall well. We speak occasionally and he invited me to their first home game of the season against Liverpool. I had two seventh-place finishes, which I think were the best since the war, before coming fourth from bottom. My being linked with the job may not please all the fans, but I left the club in a better state than when I arrived and I’d be confident of success again.”

That sounds pretty clear then. Peter Reid is sending a ‘come and get me’ message to Niall Quinn. Not so said the BBC. They quote Peter Reid as saying,

“I didn’t say I wanted to go back to Sunderland. I haven’t been offered the job at Sunderland and I will not take it if I am offered it. I haven’t asked for the job at Sunderland. I have been there once and loved it, it’s a great place but I am enjoying working here.”

After watching his Thailand side beat Laos 6-0, Reid obviously felt that he needed to clarify the position. It must be difficult for these people when they read things about them that they claim to be totally untrue.

Serious candidate

Also in yesterday’s newspapers, about the same vacant managers job we had the Daily Express saying that caretaker manager Ricky Sbragia is not a serious candidate to get the job, whereas the Daily Mail told us that Sbragia is highly regarded by the Sunderland board and has not ruled himself out of the running.

It is almost impossible to know what stories, if any, are actually based on any semblance of truth or knowledge. Further evidence of this is found in relation to Paul Ince’s position at Blackburn.

Full backing

Also in yesterday’s newspapers we had The Sun telling us that Paul Ince has got the full backing of his players and his board and the Daily Star telling us that he will be sacked if Blackburn fail to beat Wigan next Saturday.

The Daily Star also told us yesterday that new Watford manager Brendon Rogers is yet to sign a contract at Vicarage Road and could still walk out if he does not get assurances over his wages budget and control of the transfer market. The Watford official website carries an interview with Rogers which says that the stories are complete rubbish and that the contract will be signed in a few days time.


There are hundreds of examples such as these. Remember the exclusive stories in the Summer about the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo was definitely moving to Real Madrid?

Just a couple of weeks ago the furore over the William Gallas affair at Arsenal caused the newspapers to have many ‘exclusive’ stories. The Daily Telegraph told us that Gael Clichy would captain the side against Manchester City, whereas The Times told us it would be Manuel Almunia. The Times got it right that time.


Meanwhile at the tabloid end of the market we had the papers looking for the more ‘scandalous’ side of the incident. The Daily Star said that Gallas had refused to travel with the Arsenal team to Manchester whereas The Sun told us that Gallas had been ordered not to travel by Arsene Wenger.

I could go on and on but I think I’ve made my point. How much of what we read is true and how much of it is completely made up in the mind of the ‘journalist’?

Just to keep you all up to date with the latest news, I’ve heard…No, I won’t join in!

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Graham Fisher



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