The Press Gazette is no more, as a weekly title, anyway. Morphed into a monthly, subscription-only title and a news website, one genuine benefit of the change is the Grey Cardigan blog, full of sage advice and barbed observations, as this wry item on football research demonstrates
If we donâ€™t already know what a dangerous tool Wikipedia can be, I can reveal a salutary tale from this weekâ€™s coverage of obscure European football clubs.
Writing in the Daily Mirror in advance of Manchester Cityâ€™s UEFA Cup away match against Omonia Nicosia, David Anderson relates how manager Mark Hughes â€œwill not tolerate any slip-ups against the Cypriot side, whose fans are known as the â€˜Zany Onesâ€™ and who wear hats made from shoesâ€.
Sadly, poor David had fallen victim to a gang of internet spoofers who regularly lay Wikipedia traps for lazy hacks. The information, added only hours before it made it into print, was one such spoof.
To be fair to the hoaxers, they left several clues that all might not be well with the Omonia entry, which also included the information that â€œthe club has a new sponsor â€“ Natasha Kaplinski â€“ and their former players include Jean Claude Van Damme and Richard Claydermanâ€.
At the time of writing, the spoofers have emailed the Mirror pointing out the prank and questioning the standards of the sports deskâ€™s journalism. The subsequent silence has been deafening.
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