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Rihanna is definitely going to buy a UK football club, and Man City would have gone bust if it wasn't for Stuart Pearce...

Last Updated: 08/08/14 at 12:28

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Mediawatch was of the mind that Manchester United's interest in Thomas Vermaelen was very much a football story, but after clicking on the MailOnline's report it seems we couldn't have been more wrong.

There are a few cursory paragraphs from Matt Barlow, but the article is largely based around photographs of Vermaelen and, more importantly, his scantily clad ladyfriend.

In fact, there are more pictures of Vermaelen's girlfriend than the player himself, including one of her with - wait, Vermaelen's girlfriend used to go out with Sid Owen!!? The Sid Owen??

Sorry, MailOnline, all is forgiven.

Finger, Pulse
Back-page story in the Daily Mirror: 'VERMAELEN WINS HIS WAR WITH WENGER...Arsene Wenger has admitted that Thomas Vermaelen is edging closer to his £15million dream move to Manchester United.'

Story on the Daily Mirror website at 11am: 'Thomas Vermaelen transfer: Man United switch is OFF as Arsenal wanted Chris Smalling exchange'

Headline in the Daily Mail: 'Vermaelen heading for Old Trafford...Thomas Vermaelen appears set to disappoint both Barcelona and Arsene Wenger by opting to join Louis van Gaal at Manchester United.'

Story on the MailOnline at 10.42am: 'United's £15m move for Vermaelen facing KO as Van Gaal refuses to offer Smalling in swap, will the Arsenal captain now have to convince his English girlfriend to sign for Barcelona?'

Headline in the Daily Express: 'Kasper Schmeichel reveals why he TURNED DOWN Man Utd, Arsenal & Milan to stay at Leicester.'

Actual quotes from Schmeichel Jr: "I can not put concrete things on the table. But there have been opportunities, and there were some very interesting proposals."

'Manchester City would have gone bust but for me claims former manager Stuart Pearce', chirps the Daily Mirror's headline.

Hmmm, that sounds like a big claim. Let's hear how Pearce explains this one...

"The club had sold the club shop, sold the ground to council, we were paying on the never and never for the Anelkas of this world," he said.

"It really was a case that the owners said, 'Unless Wright-Phillips goes, we go.' On the Monday morning they pressed the button and Chelsea put £21million in the bank which bails the club out (but) which puts pressure on me because you are selling your goal-scorer."

We're not sure whether Pearce has been stitched up by a poor headline or if he actually believes that City were in peril.

One thing is clear, though, if you can sell a single player for £21m then you're not on the brink of going bust. It's a bit like claiming you had to sell your nicest yacht to avoid bankruptcy, which Mediawatch has had to do many, many times.

Talk That Talk
A quick lesson in how to make advert revenue on the internet (hint: it begins with not giving a damn about declining journalism standards).

1) Begin by reading a newspaper other than your own, say, for example, the Daily Star, a publication famed for its accurate and balanced reporting.

2) Take some juicy quotes from a 'source'. How about these: "At first we thought Rihanna's desire to be involved with soccer on a business level would soon blow over. We figured she was still on a high from the World Cup.

"But now it's becoming clear she really is serious. She's talking about setting up a football academy in her native Barbados. Then her big dream is to be involved with a UK club.

"Britain is like a second home to her, although she's also hinted she may do something with an LA team."

3) Blah, blah, blah, Mr Unnamed Source, with all your details and conjecture.

Let's slap a simple headline on this: 'Rihanna plans to buy a UK club after she sets up a football academy in Barbados.'

That's it, people don't want to hear that Rihanna might be setting up a football academy in Barbados or that she might be interested in buying a UK club. They want to hear that she definitely is going to do exactly that.

4) The final step: tweet it out. 'Rihanna is planning to buy a football club in the UK.'

Boom. Watch those retweets and clicks start piling in.

Congratulations kid, you've just made it as a Daily Mail reporter. Now, what do you think of Mesut Ozil?

Transfer Guff
We're all horribly familiar with the way transfer bulls**t works by now, but that doesn't stop Mediawatch grinding its gears at some of the guff being published.

Beneath the headline 'Manchester United prepare to make MASSIVE £45m bid to land Arturo Vidal', the Daily Star claim on Friday: 'Boss Louis Van Gaal has instructed United chiefs to secure Vidal's services - provided he can pass a stringent medical.'

However, the Star reported only a week ago: 'Arturo Vidal set to COMPLETE Man Utd move as agent jets in to finalise £47m deal...

'Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport report that Vidal has already passed a medical ahead of the mega-money switch to Manchester.'

There's no mention of that in the latest story, of course, but we are unsurprisingly treated to more standard quotes from a 'source'.

Roll on September 2 or, as Mediawatch calls it, Hallelujah Day.

Said Steve Claridge on potential League Two strugglers Accrington and Dagenham & Redbridge: 'Clubs on smaller budgets like them are always going to find it tough. But then a good manager on a small budget is better than a bad manager on a small budget.'

Thanks. For. That.

This is the kind of s**t that happens when mindless transfer rumours are churned out like there's no tomorrow...

Headline on ''There's been no contact' - Spurs dealt blow in chase of Memphis Depay'.

Opening line: 'PSV Eindhoven say that Memphis Depay is fully focused on playing for the club and that Tottenham Hotspur have not made an offer for their prized asset.'

How can Spurs have been 'dealt a blow' if they've not even made a bid? Put some thought into it at least.

Headline on The Independent website: 'Wes Brown collects cereal boxes to go to Legoland...despite earning over £1million-a-year at Sunderland'

'He may earn a seven-figure salary with Premier League side Sunderland, but Wes Brown isn't afraid of looking after the pennies,' writes Tom Sheen.

'The former Manchester United defender enjoyed a free trip to Legoland this week after his wife collected tokens found on boxes of Kellogg's cereal.

'Leanne, 36, was delighted with the buy one, get one free offer, which saved the couple £138. "We made sure we stopped off at tesco and bought 3 boxes of cereal to get the buy one get one free offer at legoland saving £138!" she said on Twitter.'

Another media outlet that has given up and joined the rat race to the bottom.

Said Blackburn midfielder Corry Evans ahead of tonight's clash against Cardiff: "It's important we start with a bang. We could be top of the Championship on Friday night."

You're already second, Corry, so things are looking rosy whatever happens.

Said West Ham's £12m new boy Enner Valencia: "Before signing we spoke a lot about that, the ambitions of the club to try to play European football. I'm going to work very hard for it and they're going to try to make top four."

We can all try, Enner. Mediawatch can try not be so goddamn sexy. Does it mean it's going to happen?

Don't be such a bloody fool.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Yes! Get in there, my Sone' - Daily Mirror.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A naked and drunk man was pulled out of a river by U.S. police after he masturbated in a park in broad daylight.

'Ernest Michael Kirk, 31, needed to be rescued after falling into the Willamette River while pleasuring himself in Clackamette Park in Oregon City, the Portland Tribune reports.

'Police received a phone call around 2 p.m. Saturday (local time) and when they arrived at the scene they caught Kirk in the act. The police officers tried to talk to him, but Kirk did not stop his behavior and lost consciousness before falling into the river' - Korean Times.

Thanks to Justin Pelanconi, Andy Lahan, Vijay Balakrishnan, Tim Watts, Andrew Sheena and Matt Slocombe. If you spot something that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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Readers' Comments


ow.. ten paragraphs on West Ham in winners sections.. wow.. Its really Christmas time!!!.. Forever blowing bubbles..

Premier League Winners And Losers


couple of wins and everything is OK! Sorry you still haven't got a striker who can consistently goals. Keep searching. I don't think Liverpool will make top four not even Europa League this time around.

Rodgers still targets top four


f he can find the right player? Surely the manager of one of Europe's top clubs has a well-researched short-list and has a good idea of who he wants to bring on-board? If I can find the right player sounds like someone going out on Saturday night on the pull, and the nearer you get to midnight the lower your standards drop.

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