How Manchester United bought over the media…


First, a quote from the guardian (courtesy my football forum, thanks, Hlebadinho) (Click here for the full article)

First of all a little story to tell you what kind of man we are talking about. It is January 9, 2008, and in an upstairs room at Manchester United’s training ground five elderly men in smart blazers are struggling with their emotions in front of a hushed audience. It is the club’s media day building up to the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster and Sir Bobby Charlton’s polite smile does not hide the fact he is trembling as he takes his seat. Bill Foulkes is straight-backed and dignified but only a couple of questions have been asked before the tears appear in his eyes and he reaches for a glass of water.

In an adjacent room Wayne Rooney has agreed to offer a modern-day perspective of that seminal day when 23 people, including eight members of Sir Matt Busby’s team, were killed in the wreckage of the burnt-out BEA Elizabethan. It is not his specialist subject but he handles the occasion with dignity and more eloquence than some people might imagine. But then Cristiano Ronaldo comes through the double doors and the mood is broken.

He is wearing a white suit jacket and ripped jeans, looking every bit the boy-band hunk, but it is very obvious he is in a bad mood. He begins by berating Karen Shotbolt, the club’s press officer, because he is waiting for Rooney and the event has over-run. He is banging his watch with his hand, flapping his arms and gesturing in the way that Portuguese footballers usually reserve for fussy referees and, at first, he is so animated it appears as if it might be a wind-up.

When he flounces back through the doors, cursing loudly, it is very obvious he is being deadly serious. Rooney is professional enough to carry on with his tribute but the attention is no longer exclusively on him. Thirty seconds later Ronaldo appears again, first rapping his forefinger against the glass in the door, then opening it by a fraction and starting to whistle at Rooney in the way that a farmer beckons his sheepdog.

It was such an unpleasant scene the journalists decided not to write about it because we had been invited to the training ground to cover a far more important subject and, when you have sat with men as noble as Charlton, Foulkes, Albert Scanlon, Harry Gregg and Kenny Morgans and seen the hurt in their eyes, it felt incongruous to veer off-track.

Shocking! The behavior of Cronaldo no doubts, but moreso, the shameless fawning of the ManU brigade by the media. Can you imagine any other mediaforum in the world, ANY other group of journalists in the world just let it go? Or do so for any other club? ANY other club in the world? And not one or two, but all of the journos over ther, did so.

Do you doubt the veracity of the article? Okay, here’s my bet. If this is a lie, it is nothing short of character assassination. Thus, you would surely, as logic goes, never see another article from this guy about ManUre again, right? Of course because he is a perpetrator of lies about the club. Now here’s the bet, I bet you, he will get his ManUre exclusives next year as well. Just wait and watch.

Hence proved. Both that Ronaldo is a mammoth asshole, as well as that the media is sold to ManUre, so much so that there is concerted effort from them to ensure that ManUre wins the title every year. Shocking, to say the least!

From Liverpool…

Not, of course, that Mediawatch is buying this ‘we didn’t publish because it would have been hurtful’ guff. Journalists are, after all, not renowned for their delicacy or sensitivity. The suspicion must be that Taylor – and his chums – didn’t publish the story through fear of repercussions. As The Guardian’s man on the beat in Manchester, Taylor is reliant on staying in the club’s good books in order to maintain access to their star names – such as Rooney, who, as you might have noticed, is depicted as the hero of the story, and Charlton, with whom he subsequently held an exclusive interview to mark the 50th anniversary of Munich.

And I will agree. Full article here.

And Arsenal says.

This story is incredible beyond belief. Picture this. On the 50th anniversary of the Munich air accident, ManYoo’s star player openly disrespects the memory of his club’s greats. This is a shocking act of insubordination and rather disgusting and objectionable.
At the time of the event happening – a full Six Months ago – every single hack from the major British tabloids and broadsheets was present. They were all privy to the event taking place and had a duty to report it.
Funnily enough however, every single journalist there managed to find it within themselves to ‘delay’ reporting the incident until a time that so suited ManYoo.
And this is the clearest indication that Ronaldo is off-ski, as the story has wondrously been leaked now. What Arsenal fans need to be asking themselves, is ‘how crazy is it, that in a society that purports to stand for democratic values and a free uncensored media, a team like Manchester United can effectively control the divulging of information’?
It is clear that the British media took the decision not to publish this story, as:
a) The story concerned ManYoo and was bound to upset Alex Ferguson
b) The story concerned ManYoo’s best player
c) It was in the middle of ManYoo enjoying a surge in form so, nothing could be done to destabilize them.
From that, we can deduce that the media – usually so desperate to invent any story whatsoever – will do whatever it takes, including old-school Communist Pravda-style tactics of selective dissemination of information.

And I cannot agree more. This is sad. This is deplorable.

How much lower will the media fall now?

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