Good old Football365.
After having various emails doctored when published to encourage replies from brainless halfwits “shooting me down” from a point that was implied through the edit, only to have my subsequent email to F365 ignored, seemingly on the grounds no-one likes a Man Utd fan to be right, recent mailboxes have been a hoot, and Monday’s mailbox (“A Mailbox packed full of anger and hate”) further strengthened my view that while there may be no agenda, there’s definitely a tendency to unfairly paint United fans as irrational megalomaniacs (that’s Manchester United), while the countless mails they publish from patronising and totally myopic supporters (generally Arsenal fans, strange that) always seem to be the usual suspects. They know who they are, too.
The kind of fan who hates Gary Neville because he has face hair but fawns like a raging homosexual over Sagna’s dreadlocks. It’s as far away from football as you can get but if it gives you a reason to hate United rather than just admit you’re stinking jealous of the fact they have been a better team for the last generation, then fair enough. I think publishing a mail from a supposed football fan all but accusing Fergie of being racist in his comments about Levy is pushing the boat – instead of removing said comment in case of offence, Football365.com decided to accompany it with an article that is apparently supposed to prove Levy’s point, about what they perceive to be immoral dealings by Fergie in the past. (This was only marginally more jaw-dropping than their decision to print, without a hint of irony, an email from a Scouser defending Benitez’s transfer dealings – naming Josemi, Kromkamp, Nunez, Sissoko, Bellamy, Arbeloa, Kuyt, El Zhar, Plessis, Hobbs, Anderson all as successes.. yeah I know, I don’t know who the last few are either).
I look forward to what I presume to be a forthcoming piece on their crusade against the evils of football, the snaring of 15 and 16 year old boys from other countries with sky high wages by Arsene Wenger and co at Arsenal. The connotations are there for all to see and I can’t help but feel that if Ferguson had conducted his transfers in the same way Wenger has then he would be subject to even more irrational hatred. That’s not a problem with Ferguson or Wenger, it’s a problem with the system and the way the news is presented to people who believe what they read. There is a moral obligation for any source of news and fan interaction to at least be fair in their presentation. Sir Alex himself took issue with a similar principle with the BBC, and does not speak to them – football365 is probably small fry for Fergie, but for news hungry fans like myself (starved in pre-season), though admittedly I have the option of not reading the website, morbid curiosity always wins as I stare open mouthed at the depths to which some people will sink.
Anyway, back on point.
An issue I raised in an email that was published about the tendency of tabloids to get their information from a source as obscure as the neighbours dog (re: the Brazilian website ‘quoting’ Ronaldo) was disregarded as paranoid nonsense – one of the letters I seem to recall quite categorically insisted on defending the morality of these journalists. Untruths don’t get published in newspapers, do they? Two examples recently that question that opinion have been Hleb supposedly slagging off Fabregas only to have to release a statement denying it, and now, the Ferguson/Sun incident, which “inspired” the aforementioned incredibly witty article. I don’t need to point out to anyone that tabloid newspaper journalism is sketchy at best but I do find it a little confusing that a website that occasionally derides the Sun, posts mails from people defending its honour in an attempt to make a United fan look daft.
Of course we all know that after the Madrid/Ronaldo fiasco that it was the end of Man Utd’s days as a buyer in the transfer market. Because they would be hypocrites, right? United could never make another bid for a player without being subjected to the same comments from ill-educated fools as they had given Madrid. Football365.com, indeed, shot down a Utd fan who made the point (several, actually, all reasonable and intelligent enough) that the Berbatov and Ronaldo situations couldn’t be more different, by ‘triumphantly’ appending a link to their marvellous article at the end of his mail.
An article that, as I stated, attempts to paint Fergie’s dealings as immoral – listing Paul Ince and even saying “No question of any wrongdoing from Ferguson here”… that’s like me calling someone a murderer, naming someone they killed, then saying “well he didn’t kill them but”.. maybe it’s not exactly the same, but the principle is.
So because Real Madrid never bid for Ronaldo but told everyone who would listen how it would be a “honour for him to play for them”, reserve a car park seat, tell sportsmen and their own players that he’s already signed, and United were unhappy with that (some might say understandably.. but eh, what do I know?), that has somehow put United into the situation where any bid for a player will make fans call Fergie and the club hypocrites. No clubs are forced to sell their players (well, maybe, but wait for that)- Berbatov didn’t move last summer, Spurs rejected a bid (and he played a full season, pretty well by all accounts), exactly the same thing has happened this summer but because United have been in the spotlight some nobody tries to make himself look big by questioning Fergie. It’s clear for anyone with any common sense to see, alas, the masses seem to be lacking in that fundamental. They can’t even see the hypocrisy in Levy’s statement considering that despite it being very rare, he actually committed as close as it gets to football theft when poaching Bostock from Palace. Of course, there must be a reason why that topic was not favoured by football365 and the Fergie one was.
In my last blog I clearly stated my despair for the modern game but when this is the way it’s being reported to the fans, with agenda, misrepresentation and provocation to appease the idiotic majority, is it any wonder?