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Journalists could be sued for giving false transfer stories

I got the idea for that headline from the one that says Arsenal could lose Theo for just £400,000.

That story is in the Mirror in its football news section.  Now the word “News” has within it the word “new” which means, well, sort of new – as in not old.

The actual story is that “FIFA rules mean that any buying club would just have to pay £80,000 training costs for every year that Walcott has been at Arsenal which would equate to just under £400,000 by the time his contract expires in the summer of 2010.”

Now that is not exactly new – the rules are there, have been for a while, and apply to everyone.  Theo’s contract runs out in 18 months, and the most likely time to discuss a new contract is when CEO Ivan Gazidis is in position, and has got to grips with the club’s situation, and the manager’s wishes.   So far Mr Gazidis has had, oh, well, let’s see, err, five days, of which one was a bank holiday.

In short the story is utterly misleading in every way.   From recent history I can imagine Tottenham Hotspur forgetting to negotiate a new contract for a player and finding he gets away, but not Arsenal.

So, what about my headline.  Well, technically yes journalists could be sued for libel.  If they wrote a story which suggested that a club did not want a player and so were trying to off-load him, and the player felt that this downgraded his reputation, and reduced the prospect of him getting a pay rise, he could try it.  It is a possible legal case, because he could argue he has suffered a real loss.

As to whether any player would ever do that… well, probably not – but that “probably not” is a lot higher certainty than Theo wandering off to Real Mad for£400,000.

6 comments to Journalists could be sued for giving false transfer stories

  • john Bhoys

    ‘From recent history I can imagine Tottenham Hotspur forgetting to negotiate a new contract for a player and finding he gets away, but not Arsenal.’

    Flamini?

  • carry

    wait for it: “Language barrier may slam shut and force Hleb out of Spain at the end of the season” Former Arsenal star Alexander Hleb has admitted to being unsettled in Spain, hinting that he may want to leave Barcelona at the end of the season. The 27-year-old Belarus international says he is not getting enough first team action, and revealed he is at odds with his manager over failing to learn Spanish more quickly. ‘Of course I would like to play more. But you should ask the manager why I’m not in the starting line-up most of the time,’ he said to the media in his native Belarus. ‘All I can do is to work hard and prove that I deserve it. Let’s wait until the end of the season.’ According to Hleb Barcelona boss Josep Guardiola has not said he is unhappy with Hleb’s performances on the field. ‘All he says is that I should start speaking the language as soon as possible,’ said the player.” This article was in the dialy mail.

  • carry

    John, Arsenal offered a contract to flamini worth 55k but he got 10k more at milan so he pissed off there

  • Bobbly Pliers

    What really hacks me off (forgive the pun) is the fact that rumour mongering is a self perpetuating industry because the crap they make up in the papers is then discussed at length in various other forms of media. Thus appearing to give more credence to even the most outlandish claims.

  • carry

    Arsene Wenger has given – in my opinion – the biggest indication that he is attempting to sign Andrei Arshavin from Zenit St Petersburg, with some rather candid comments on the official website about Champions League ineligibility not being a concern. The manager did not specifically mention the Russian but the following statement definitely suggest to me that a move for Arshavin is being negotiated. Observe:

    “If the right player comes in, even if he is not available for the Champions League, his class is more important for me. At the moment I feel that if we do add somebody, we need to add somebody who has a special class because we have good players.”

    In my eyes this comment directly refers to Arshavin and am a firm supporter of most people’s notion that he is a player with the class to improve our squad. In terms of ready-to-play creative midfielders we have Cesc Fabregas, Tomas Rosicky, Abou Diaby and Samir Nasri and considering the first two are injured we’re in dire need of reinforcements. I think Arshavin can provide something that we lack – namely intelligence and confidence in front of goal – and as I said yesterday I’d love to see this move eventuate.

    One move I would not see eventuate though is that of Kolo Toure leaving the club. However, various reports in the media suggest he is on his way to Manchester City with some even insisting that Stephen Ireland might come our way in return. While I would not like to see Toure go I’m even more uncertain about the impact that Ireland would have on our team having watched very little of City this season. It’s definitely and interesting situation though.

  • john Bhoys

    Yeah but they offered flamini that contract renewal in the eleventh hour – he was in the last year of his contract and should have been tied down earlier. People are just predicting, wrongly, that the same will happen with theo