How hard can it be? At least Michael Carrick might look useful.
The Gareth Barry Mess
The red tops have been ensuring that they have had something to write about this summer by updating us daily on the Rafalution. Incase you fell asleep, here it is in a nutshell.
Rafa winks at Gareth.
Martin tells them to pay £18m.
Rafa says he won’t pay that but would be happy to pay about £12m or so.
Martin tell them that it’s £18m or no deal.
Rafa kind of blows them off and continues to offer less.
Martin says no deal.
Gareth gets upset and says Martin is mean to him.
Martin fines Gareth for being a bit of a twat.
Rafa offers an amount considerably less than £18m in the belief that Martin failed foundation-level maths.
Martin tells Rafa to go away.
After leading him on all summer Rafa decides that Gareth is not really the one he wanted after all.
Gareth is fucked.
The Robbie Keane saga
Spurs are quite annoyed that Rafa has gone public in his admiration for Robbie “£20m??????” Keane after he decided he might get a better return from Robbie than Gareth. Yeah, if you’re going to blow the guts of £20m on a UEFA cup-standard player then he might as well get you 15 goals a season.
Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy felt the need today to lodge a complaint with the Premier League about the “disgraceful” behaviour of Rafa and Fergie who have publicly spoken about their lust for Robbie and Dimitar Berbatov respectively.
The Dimitar Berbatov Mystery
Fergie reportedly said “we have made Tottenham an offer on Berbatov and we have good expectations that this deal will go through”. The red-faced one has denied that he made the quotes at all and says that Tottenham will be embarrassed by their complaint.
So if Ferguson did not make the quotes and newspapers are allowed to actually “invent” quotes to give themselves a headline then what are clubs to do? It seems that the rags can print what they like and get away with it unchallenged.
When people have untruths printed about them that hurt them in some way, they can pursue recourse through the courts – as evidenced by Robert Murat last week who won £600k for a series of damaging lies told about his private life in the wake of the Madeline McCann disappearance.
But sports journalists have been getting away with spoofing for far too long. If they print an article with invented quotes or stories with no basis in truth that damage a club (by turning a player’s head, affecting their form and, subsequently, their value) then let’s see them dragged through the courts and paying through their pocket. It might cut the “gossip” column down to a few lines but no harm there.