National news website agrees story about Arsenal transfer was obvious fake

By Sir Hardly Anyone

This is the fourth summer running that we have run our transfer rumours index, each time showing that around 97% of the supposed deals never happen.  Indeed as far as we can tell, they were never going to happen, but were in fact just fantasies invented by writers looking for an audience.

But now for the first time, one of the prime sources of the rumours that we record has admitted that it has been conned, totally, absolutely and completely.  It admits the story it has been running over and over was based around an obvious fake.

Yes, so huge and obvious has been the con trick, and so totally did the media fall for it, that Football.London, the Daily Mirror’s website that regularly publishes 40 or so Arsenal “stories” a day, has admitted that one of their tales was an absolute fabrication and nothing more than a total fantasy.

Of course they don’t use that word.  Nor do they admit that they have been a major purveyor of the story up until this point.  But for what I think is the first time they are saying that a story they have run, run and run again was totally invented.

Here’s their sorrowful explanation which appears under the headline “Arsenal news: £35m Ziyech ‘bid’ explained”:

“The ‘leaked’ document purporting that Arsenal had made a bid of £35million was a fake.”   

Each year, in running the transfer index we have noted that only 3% of the stories is true.  But this is the first time we can remember in which any source has admitted a story they have run was totally made up.   Will the floodgates open?  Will other websites and newspapers that run transfer tales all day long, suddenly change the tune?  If they do I think we could take a little credit for the change, even though it will mean we’ll lose one of our regular summer columns.

Of this particular invented story Foot Lond says, “This particular poorly made transfer Ziyech bid document posted on Twitter this week is as laughably bad a hoax as anyone can remember for a long time.”

That is interesting in itself as Foot Lond themselves have for a number of weeks been promoting this transfer as real.  So we may ask, how come Foot Lond themselves were taken in by a document that they describe as “laughably bad a hoax as anyone can remember for a long time.”  Could it be that their investigative team who examine all these stories in detail before they are published were so drunk they didn’t notice?  No surely not.

Yet the phrase “for a long time” suggests that the old codgers at the Daily Mirror are used to seeing fake documents.  So how come they have been promoting this story as true, given that they know that 97% of the transfer window is fake.  It couldn’t be that they are committed to their 40 a day habit could it?

So could it be that as we have, in a joking way and not making any reference to specific individual, suggested in the past, that the journalists involved do actually spend all day and night making up fairy stories in the Toppled Bollard and when an obviously fake tale like this comes in, they are too far gone to admit it?

Obviously the tales from the Toppled Bollard public house are themselves whimsies invented to make fun of journalists, and we don’t accuse them of being drunken layabouts, but when a fake is, as they so, “laughably bad” and yet they run the story day after day after day after day after day it is legitimate to wonder what is going on at Football.London in relation to its desperate desire to publish 40 Arsenal stories a day.

I could say that I don’t want to rub in their discomfort, but actually I do.  So let’s rub it in a bit and look at some of the tales they have run…  These are all headlines from Football.London

  • “Ajax star Hakim Ziyech is hot property heading into the summer transfer window and Arsenal are reportedly keen.” (1 May)
  • “Transfer news live: Arsenal’s Hakim Ziyech boost” (18 May)
  • “Hakim Ziyech to Arsenal: Ajax’s transfer stance, release clause and the Mesut Ozil advantage” (20 May)
  • “Arsenal’s big advantage over Liverpool and Man United in battle to sign Hakim Ziyech” (25 May)
  • “Why Arsenal must beat Chelsea in their transfer hunt for Hakim Ziyech”  (29 May)
  • “Dutch football expert hands Arsenal boost in Hakim Ziyech chase”  (13 June)
  • “Hakim Ziyech to Arsenal: Ajax’s asking price”  (14 June)
  • “The shirt numbers available to Saliba, Fraser, Ziyech and Meunier at Arsenal this summer” (17 June)

And those are just some of the headlines.

We all know we are being conned each day by the lies and fantasies that blogs and newspapers put out over transfer stories, but it is nice to see one of the leading purveyors of this garbage actually being hoist by their own petard as the Shakespearian saying goes.

A petard incidentally was a wooden box filled with powder, used to blast down a door or to make a hole in a wall.  In this case the wall is that surrounding Football London and all those who follow its approach of running fantasies as if they have some foundation, and undoubtedly laughing at football supporters who lap up the nonsense.

No gunpowder, but good to see them humiliated, even if they are too far gone to admit it.

2 Replies to “National news website agrees story about Arsenal transfer was obvious fake”

  1. Aside of these fantasy Arsenal summer transfer rumours this summer that are currently being ran in the print media more especially in Foot London. But have Arsenal signed any senior team player this summer window? The tabloids have had it that Arsenal are in to sign an 18 year old centreback Williams Saliba from Saint Etienne and the Celtic’s left-back Kieran Tierney this summer which makes sense if the will become top class for Arsenal since the club is in need to blood in new bloods into the key areas of it’s CB and LB positions to strengthened them in their first team squad of 25 Gunners for the first half of next season’s campaign.

    But why is a top quality new striker signing by Arsenal that has become very important for the club to complete this summer to replace the departed Danny Welbeck is appearing to have been left in the dark? And why is the necessity to sign a prolific right-winger of proven regular League goals scorer in the like of Gareth Bale of Real Madrid caliber but hidden and not yet known by Arsenal is not being talked about in the media for Arsenal to do this summer? But is it the media that sets the incoming transfer agenda for Arsenal or it is Arsenal that sets it by itself?

    Anyway, if the transfer fees to sign Saliba and Tierney does not constitute a stumbling block to Arsenal to sign the pair this summer, and if it’s true that the club is very serious to sign these duo defenders this summer, I think the club should try by all possible means to sign the two new players early this summer transfer window and move on to other 2 key position targets of to sign a striker and a right-winger in this same summer window. But not delay or defer their signings the duo new defenders till later. The little extra money the club could need, say £5m to complete the signings of these duo defenders could be borrowed from the bank or from Stan Kroenke at low interest rate to be paid back when Arsenal sells some 2 or 3 senior team Gunners this summer. But can I teach Arsenal of what to do when it comes to how to obtain money to do incoming transfers?

  2. Reminds me of the time when The Times published an up and coming Moldovan player that Arsenal was about to sign whose name translated to Little Black Donkey. They even published it in their top 50 kids to look out for. They went and deleted the article rather than admit they were wrong.

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