Jun 212007

Many children have imaginary friends at a young age – it helps them feel secure and wanted at an ever changing stage of their life. The imaginary friend never argues, deceives or annoys them, they never fall out or get teased by them.

Some get so attached to their imaginary friend that their real life gets a little stunted – no real friend ever matches up to the perfect one sitting in their subconscious. Some even get so consumed by the voice in their head that they start confusing the boundaries between fact and fiction. Ever known someone who told a lie so many times they believed it themselves? It’s a very similar concept – there is no distinction between a real conversation and the one that they go to sleep creating.

Some take this so far, that they become journalists for the Sun.

How else do you explain all the ‘friends’ that appear in news stories? Someone who is ‘close friends’ with Wenger has apparently been spilling the beans to the Sun about how disillusioned he is with the financial constraints at Arsenal, and how he is unlikely to renew his contract. How likely is it that this ‘friend’ is in fact the journalist, who met Arsene once, and last night went to sleep imagining how the conversation would go. When the alarm clock went off this morning, he instantly rang his editor with news of a ‘remarkable story’. Split personalities must be useful when a journalist needs quotes. 

Simple rules of the transfer window:

If the story says ‘A close friend said’, it’s not true.

If a story says ‘It is understood that’, it’s not true.

If a story says ‘Sources close to X revealed that’, it’s not true.

If a story says ‘Harry Harris: Exclusive’, it’s not true.

Elsewhere, Sepp Blatter’s making friends again, comparing young African players playing for European clubs to slavery. He claims that the top clubs are signing them up, taking them from their families, and dropping them again if they don’t cut it.

Which is exactly how football works all around the world. It is more than worrying that the president of the world game doesn’t understand such a simple concept.

Is there any continent the FIFA president doesn’t want to alienate? It seems he is trying to recover from his demand that Mali players play for their clubs last weekend, but he’s so transparent its untrue.

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