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June 2021

Sky Sports writers have found the easiest way ever to con their employer with fake transfer news

By Sir Hardly Anyone

I have been wondering if we ought not to have a “Laugh of the Week” slot, although as others then point out, what makes people laugh in my country mansion in Rutland might not be the same as in the Toppled Bollard, the Corby pub which the rest of the Untold team frequent.

But then I found this on Fox News

Arsenal Transfer News: Alexis Sanchez, Thomas Lemar, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Lucas Perez

Now that looked good – it had come from Fox, but there had been a WHOLE TEAM of writers from the illustrious world of Sky working on re-writing the news to make it suitable for human consumption.

And what is this news, you will be a-crying.

Well I shall keep you no longer. Here it is…

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has said there is “no update” in the situation involving striker Alexis Sanchez.

Now that might seem a bit like a stretch of the word “news” but surely there must be something there as we have had a whole team of workers from Fox on the story first, and then all the Sky Sports men working on the re-write.  So let us plough on…

“The Chile international has been linked with a move away from the club this summer with less than a year remaining on his current deal at the Emirates Stadium and could walk away for free at the end of the upcoming season.

“Wenger has insisted several times that Sanchez will not be sold, although Paul Merson told The Debate on Sky Sports he feels the Gunners would be open to offers if they were to come from Paris Saint-Germain.

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“Sanchez missed Arsenal’s scintillating start to the new Premier League season, an abdominal injury forcing him to sit out the 4-3 victory over Leicester.”

Ah so Paul has an opinion – no wonder they stopped the presses.  But then they had this headline

The 28-year-old watched from the stands as Olivier Giroud’s late header earned the Gunners three points.

Here the trail gets even weirder here because that link points to a Fox report from Australia!  So now we have Sky Sports, Fox and Fox Oz and Paul Merson.  When we get to the story we know it is going to be good, because “Rumours persist that Sanchez will leave before the window closes, with Wenger suggesting he will also miss the trip to Stoke next weekend.”

Wow – rumours persist.   And we are almost there, I promise you.

Here we go…

It says

Asked if there was any update on Sanchez’s situation, Wenger replied: “No.”

I can tell you, we were raising glasses both in the Anyone Arms and in the Toppled Bollard.  That one surely is priceless.  And to think whole teams of writers got paid for that.

But you didn’t come here just for non-news, I know, so here is something of greater substance.  I know it will be, because it comes from the Mail which tells us that

Wenger has “all but given up” hope of luring Thomas Lemar from Monaco, with the Ligue 1 club holding onto him until next summer, at least.   That means Arsenal’s business is all but done, but there will still be a raft of exits.

Now Tony will tell us that multiple exits from the stage is properly written “exaunt” but anyway, they add “Sanchez has resigned himself to staying before pursuing a glamorous move on a free transfer next season, while the club is reportedly calm on Mesut Ozil, who is expecting to sign a new £300,000-a-week deal.”

But now you might be saying that you have come all the way to Untold to read the latest transfer news, so where is it?   Well I can tell you it is primarily “out” news.

We learn that Newcastle United cannot afford Lucas Perez, but “Rafa Benitez is set to make a solid play for Jack Wilshere,” – that is in the Sun.   And here’s another one with funny language.  Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain situation remains precarious, given he has one year left and will be available for free at season’s end. Chelsea are very keen on the speedster.

What is a speedster? I hear you cry.  Well, “a person or thing that operates well at high speed, for example a fast car.”  I’m glad we sorted that one.

Of course Paul Merson can’t let a day go by with only one comment in the press so he has made it clear that he “believes Theo Walcott and striker Olivier Giroud, should be angling for a departure with the World Cup in Russia coming up next summer, rather than being comfortable at Arsenal.

“Merson says they should put in transfer requests as Philippe Coutinho has at Liverpool, who wants to move to Barcelona.”

Anyway the media are all full of  Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Lucas Perez and Joel Campbell all told to go.

The source is … well Fox Sports Australia if you must know.   And why is Campbell on the list when he has just been given a new squad number?  Ah, because what they have just done is re-run a story that dates back about two months, when it was run in the Metro and has been circulating off and on ever since.  This time they didn’t even bother to re-write it!So once again we see that the transfer writers, the people with the easiest fantasy job in the world, can’t even be arsed to make up their own stories!!!!  Things have come to a pretty pass if you ask me!!!!!!

Elsewhere we have:

Report – Rafa Benitez Makes Move To Sign Arsenal’s Jack Wilshire The Newcastle United Blog

“Arsenal want £20m for Lucas Perez: Newcastle only keen on loan deal for striker.  Brighton interested.”  That’s from the Star while the Sun and the Times say that they will take Jack as well.

The laugh a minute Transfer Tavern tells us that “Arsenal don’t need to worry about this 22 year-old leaving for Barcelona”   as we now have Sead Kolasinac.

But also “Alexis has been spotted at the airport.”

Yes I really do mean it – there actually is a story with “spotted” at the “airport” in it.  This is a story from 101 Great Goals, which has the headline, “Lethal Bizzle spots Alexis Sanchez flying, says he’s leaving Arsenal”.  Now Lethal Bizzle as you probably know is a rapper, or maybe a wrapper, I am not sure, and apparently he doubles as a porter at Luton Airport where he spotted Alexis who told him he was leaving.

(Actually Sir Hardly, I don’t think they have porters at airports any more, except of course Rutland International – Tony).

As for players coming in to Arsenal 101 Great Goals tells us that “Thomas Lemar & Arsenal: It’s finally over”

But Red London tells us that the “highly respected journalist David Ornstein has some inside information with the headline BBC’s David Ornstein speaks on Arsenal’s plans for third new signing 

We read with excitement that…

“There may be one that Arsenal are possibly looking to bring in,” he said.   “I don’t think there is a specific name, but there is perhaps scope to bring in one more player.”

We had to search in the Mirror to find out who and what – and there we were told that  “Marco Asensio has requested ’emergency talks’ with Real Madrid bosses over Arsenal’s interest.   Midfield wonder kid Asensio is desperate to be offered a new contract as he feels the rumours in his future means he deserves an improved deal.

The Gunners had been interested in breaking his £72m release clause according to Diario Gol. But “Asensio has no interest in leaving the Bernabeu but wants to up his annual salary to £5.5m a year.”

You couldn’t make it up!  (Well, actually, you probably could.)

What’s it like being a supporter?

Enjoy our hilarious Facebook series all gathered together on one page.  Well, ok, its our Facebook series from UntoldArsenalToday

Fancy more?

Funny moment on Sky Sport debating Chelsea takes the media spotlight off us for once

How sad are the commentators, utterly unable to understand the sheer joy of last night

The Index of Indexes

  • The In Index: All the players tipped to be joining Arsenal this summer
  • The Out Index: All the players tipped to be leaving Arsenal this summer

28 comments to Sky Sports writers have found the easiest way ever to con their employer with fake transfer news

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Whatever Paul Merson says he must sincerely believe and is not to be easily sniffed at . I’m betting he has a well honed nose for this stuff .Or things .
    The rest of us all should probably take it all in the right spirit and with a pinch of salt or … whatever !

  • Wibble the lobster

    It’s sadly more sinister than this and no longer about generating hits or filling column space. There is now an obvious risk of synergies being exploited between a number of these media outlets and their betting company affiliates with zero conflict control being exercised by regulators.
    This is patently a risk to the game – Taking money for invented/placed transfer rumours should not be allowed.

    Ps Ornstein however remains the only one out there who can be trusted not to promote garbage.

  • Chris

    I’m putting this up here, maybe it gets picked up….

    Costa has been secretely discussing a move to Arsenal with Arsene Wenger. My son’s girfriend’s newphew’s cousin’s friend the super-mega-star Rapper E-Mir-Rates has been quoted as spotting his Ferrari parked at the Emirates VIP parking, and later on seing him in a tête-à-tête with Arsene Wenger at a pub across White Hart Lane. Lacazette, Giroud and Alexis need competition is the ‘off the record’ reason for this incredible deal. And Arsenal fans should be happy to have a second tank in their team. Sure enough, with Costa they will win the Intercontinental Cup.

  • MickHazel

    Read all about it, extra, extra.
    According to the Star 12 hours ago….

    ‘Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez in Paris with his agent and lawyer – French journalist’

  • Josif

    If Jack could return to his best form and keep fitness until we get Santi back, I’d feel confident this team can win the league.

    I doubt he can do it though so we need an extra CM to rotate with Xhaka and Rambo in this formation.

  • Flares

    Josie, no we don’t. I’m happy Elneny refused Leicester to stay and fight for his place because I already see a more advanced mentality going into the new campaign. He’s come through the difficult first season still with a chance to prove himself and I hope he does. Liked him from the beginning. He’s industrious, skilful and has a touch of flamboyancy about his play at times, although needs to ensure some of his more, shall we say, optimistic passing actually sees some end product. He was fantastic in the Cup Final and showed some real spirit and quality yesterday. As usual, the media dismissed him out of hand last season because he didn’t set the world on fire, but he’s got plenty in his locker and will grow into a fine PL player in my opinion.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Your comment looks unfounded but tempting to like. For, Costa is a huge proven Premier League regular goal scorer of an animal who Antonio Conte, the Chelsea manager and owner Abram Abremovich have appeared to be hauling him away after an amicable settlement could not be reached on Costa gross act of insubordination to his manager at the Chelsea training ground last season.

    If Arsenal who are not in dear need of a central striker as of now as they have two specialist strikers of Lacazette & Giroud in their rank but can still add one more top quality specialist striker like Diego Costa to their striker department this summer so as to further enhance the standing strength in that department. And thus boost their chances to win this season’s PL title as they will have adequate specialist strikers for cover and options during this campaign in all competions. This will be a great delight if Arsenal make the transfer of Costa to Arsenal to happen this summer thereby making the unlikely transfer rumour becoming a reality transfer.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Some more thoughts on Kolasinac.

    I really liked the way he was pushing around the Leicester players in the build up to corners

  • Chris


    rest assured, my comment was totally sarcastic, me trying to mimick the BS we read about transferts all summer long.

  • Chris

    we definitely are in the Twighlight Zone….Harry Kane got himself a yellow….

  • Chris

    Looking at the replay, wonder if it should have not been a red one. That was voluntary and dangerous, reckless. Newcastle player is out for the game.

  • Gord

    It certainly leaves an effect on Newcastle, they’ve used 2 subs and still a while to half time.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    scouting the enemy 1st half

    So far Spurs look very sterile in the attack. 70% of the possession I’d say but Newcastle have looked more dangerous. Still, Newcastle have had to use 2 subs for injuries (one thanks to Harry Kane leg-breaker) and I am unsure whether Newcastle can keep it up.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A little hint for those who want a scoop to find out Alexis intended destination . Go and sniff through his garbage .
    See if there are any French or German brands of dog food or even Mancunian ones!
    Or hand written excercise book homework in French , German or Mancunian languages .
    Or if the dogs are stressed and being treated by a dog whisperer .
    Or if Alexis is being treated .
    This is how it responsible investigations were done in the old days .

  • Gord

    Some dork at Guardian thinks the tackle was fine.

    Daily mail has another dork, “Oh, it’s only a forward’s tackle”. They note the injury is serious, but cannot bring themselves to even mention red card.

  • MickHazel

    Kane challenge looked like a straight red to me. It was a scissor tackle from behind and the Newcastle lads leg was caught right in the middle of it. Certainly worse than the fouls which got Xhaka two red cards issued last season.

  • Markyb

    Very very fishy the Spurs red card ban. Two whole seasons without one and Kane getting away with yellow. Wonder what Granit would have got?

  • Gord

    Newcastle player’s ankle is right in Kane’s crotch in the one image at Guardian. Kane could easily have broken tibia and fibula, as well as dislocate ankle. That should be good for say a 37 game ban.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    If three is going to be consistency in referring in the Premier League games this season by the Pgmol officials, then, that Harry Kane cruciate ligament wrecking tackle on that Newcatle player should have been a red card by ref’ Andre Marriner instead of the yellow one he gave him. We saw at the Bridge yesterday when Gary Cahill got a red for a similar tackle.

  • Chris


    I fully agree, was just surprised he even got a yellow for it.
    As for the game, not worthy of a champion’s runner-up. If I were a Spurs fan I’d be worried

  • Nitram

    Shelvey sent off for stepping on Alli.

    Ridiculous thing to do and he cant really argue with the red card. But given what we’ve seen Alli get away with over the last couple of years it does make you wonder about the injustice of it all, because as stupid as Shelvey was, it was hardly going to break his leg, unlike some of the things Alli’s got away with.

    I only started watching in the 2nd half and of course, despite mentioning the injuries to the Newcastle players, not once has there been a suggestion Kanes challange should, or even could of been a red card.

    So given the impartial, even handed nature of SKYs commentary, I can only assume it was a harmless, genuine attempt to play the ball.

    Also, given how SKY like banging about ‘how long since Arsenal did this, or how long since Arsenal did that’ you’d of thought the inordinate amount of time since Spurs have received a red card in the PL would at least deserve a mention, but I certainly have never heard it mentioned. Maybe someone will tell me different.

    Since Newcastle have gone down to 10 men they have been totally on the back foot, and Spurs are 2 up, and to be honest they look like they’ve given up and it could be anything.

    Whatever the rights on wrongs of todays incident, as Markyb says, there’s something very very ‘fishy’ about Spuirslack of red cards, and something even more ‘fishy’ about the way the media seem to avoid mentioning it like the plague.

  • Al

    Saw the Cahill tackle yesterday against the Burnley player, very similar to the challenge he made on Sanchez. He’s turning out to be a real thug, what is it with English players and breaking other players legs? And then the pundits were trying to defend him this morning on telly saying should have been a yellow only.
    Not watching the spuds match but not surprised to hear kane escaped with a yellow only. If there’s a team that’s favoured on and off the pitch, these last few years, it’s spurs. And they still can’t win anything.

    Feel the same about Elneny too. Obviously the criticism against him from the media was ill informed and unwarranted, he’s an industrious player. And he also has one heck of a shot, and a bit of a deadball specialist too.. but feel he tends to want to leave shooting and free kicks to his team mates. So far… I said, a couple of weeks ago, that he’s a utility player like Song, only he’s better.

  • Gord

    Looked at the early post game news headlines. Lots of mention of Shelvey’s red card and the intelligence behind it, nothing of Kane’s. One Spud blog (Cartilage Free Captain) summaries the game and doesn’t even mention the tackle or card of Kane. It’s a nothing incident, never even happened.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Crystal palace, Swansea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea received no red cards last year. The year before only Man City and Tottenham received none.
    2016-17 Red cards total (league): 41
    AVG red cards per team: 41/20 = 2.05 red cards per team
    1392 yellow cards last year
    1392 yellow : 41 reds ratio: 33.95:1
    Given that Tottenham committed 62 (2016-17) + 72 (2015-16) = 134 yellow cards they conceivably should have received 134/33.95 red cards or…3.94 red cards over that period.
    League average 2.05 cards per season/38 =5.39% per game
    AVG % chance of NOT getting a red card in any single game = 94.61%
    Statistically we treat each match as an independent event although it is arguable that this is in fact not true because teams, players and referees know about previous matches and prepare accordingly. Players know how many yellows and reds they have in a year because they may be sanctioned when they go over various thresholds. Teams, players and referees have reputations and biases in how they play and work.
    If we treat the events as dependent the odds of them going a full year without red cards as 12.18% over two years as 1.48%.
    The odds of Tottenham going as long as they have without a red card are extremely low. Given that they play an extremely aggressive style (pressing) and have a couple of extremely physical players (Dele Ali, Wanyama) it is even more surprising.

  • MickHazel

    If there is one Spurs player who has got away with it over the years it is Verthongen. I recall him grabbing a forward by his shorts from behind who was clean through on goal. The players shorts finished up round his ankles and the ref didn’t even give a foul.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    For the post denying Kane, otherwise it would have been 0-3 to Spurs. Does this 0-2 win by them against the enterprising Newcastle team whose only weapon in this game is to be enterprising in playing but can’t score shows that the strength of the Spurs team of last season who finished 2nd to us 5th in the table is still intact despite their letting Kyle Walker leaves?

    Much surprise has been shown for Spurs inactive in the transfer market this summer in which they could still sign some quality to strengthen. But in contract to our Gunners team who were not up to the challenge for a top four finish last season but has been strengthened with two quality additions so far this summer. But will these two new senior additions be adequate to sustain our PL title challenge during this season’s campaign? I am skeptical the duo signings alone might not.

    For my skepticism not to see Arsenal fall short in top quality players for cover and options during this campaign has necessitated my constant calling on Le Prof to still sign three top quality players of a striker of Diego Costa caliber, a versatile midfield player of Thomas Lemar quality and a holding midfielder for his first team squad, making a total five signings in number he would have done if he does the signings.

    I know it’s going to be argued in some quarters such a five senior team signings by Le Prof this summer will destabilize his team. But I say NO! It will not destabilize it but enhanced it. I think Le Prof is going to sell Gibbs, Jenkinson, Debuchy and Perez after selling Szcezney all this summer. Despite the fact that Szcezney was not listed in his official 25 man squad of last season, but selling the other four he has enlisted for sales this summer will make room for two more new signings to come in. And if he still sells one more but not Chambers, he can still bring in the remaining third one to conclude his five new senior signings for Arsenal this summer which will give us strong confidence that Arsenal will have a good crack at the titles winning this season and win them all.

  • Nitram

    This is why I constantly bang on about the medias influence over referees.

    Just as a couple of ‘for examples’:


    The medias line since he arrived at Arsenal is that he is reckless, and must be dealt with the utmost severity whenever possible. Basically he must be carded at every opportunity.


    He’s a young naïve English talent that must be nurtured. Any transgressions must be handled with the utmost understanding as he ‘isn’t like that’ and would never intentionally put another players wellbeing at risk. Basically, he must be handle with care and you dismiss him at your peril.

    Those are the medias polar opposite portrayals of those 2 players, and guess what? The referees follow there instructions to the letter.

  • Gord

    It is now 4am on Monday in the UK? Still the only news headlines I am seeing about Kane’s tackle, as quotes of Benitez saying it should have been a red card. I haven’t seen anything that someone else agrees with this.

    Of course, we have “Spurs coach says he isn’t that kind of boy”.

    Excuse me while I puke.