“Fleet Street’s humiliation”

Cristiano RonaldoFollowing the announcement that Cristiano Ronaldo is to stay at Manchester United for at least another season, the longest running transfer “saga” of this summer has come to a conclusion.

Long gone are the days when players would move clubs and it would come as a surprise to the footballing world. I personally recall both Jurgen Klinsmann’s move to Spurs and Andy Cole’s transfer to Manchester United as signings that literally came out of the blue.

Nowadays with 24-hour news channels and the like it is almost impossible that a major transfer signing will happen out of the blue. But, is it too much to ask for the mainstream media to report responsibly on potential movements of football players?

In fact, due to the large amounts of gossip and tittle-tattle spouted by literally hundreds of football websites, surely the so-called “reliable” newspapers have a duty to be accurate.

Mediawatch highlights today “Fleet Street’s humiliation” in what has been a summer full of conjecture and speculation.

Whilst Ronaldo may have been set on a move to the Bernabeu after the Moscow Champions League final and during Euro 2008, he admits in the “exclusive” interview that he gave yesterday to the Portuguese newspaper Publico that he finally made up his mind in a discussion with Sir Alex Ferguson a “few days ago.”

This puts the following two headlines from Sunday in perspective:

Real’s final £60m Ronaldo bid, The News of the World.

Cristiano Ronaldo set to force £68m move from Manchester United to Real Madrid, The Sunday Telegraph.

These are just two articles of literally thousands that the mainstream media have produced since the end of last season claiming Ronaldo would be leaving United. Mediawatch also pinpoint recent articles from the Daily Mirror and The Sun and in truth there is unlikely to be a newspaper in England that hasn’t claimed the Portuguese winger was leaving.

The bottom line is that football fans deserve better, these sensationalist headlines and hit-seeking from even the broadsheets (The Daily Telegraph seem to currently aspire to be the Daily Mail) is wrong and I for one can’t be the only one who hopes we don’t have to go through this all next summer – when Ronaldo most likely will join Real Madrid.

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