Following an apology in The Times today for publishing a story about the Dream Football League which turned out to have been, how shall I put this, dreamt up, 1FITG has been similarly moved to apologise for its own wholesale absence of journalistic standards.
When we get it wrong, we admit it.
So, it’s time for us to set the record straight.
We stand by all our writing staff at 1FITG. Our sub-editors and editors are the best in the world.
Our fact checkers are obsessed with detail. We wouldn’t be seen anywhere near a dodgy story.
However, we made one or two minor errors in our exclusive report last week, when we announced the imminent launch of a British Territories League. It transpires that:
- There is no plan to tap into the riches of the English expatriate community by taking the Premier League to such locations as the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar and the Pitcairn Islands in the premier league summer break.
- Our headline ‘Bermuda Tri-amble: ageing Premier League stars set for overseas windfall’ was misleading in suggesting that the British Territories League was a done deal.
- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has not, in fact, formally complained to FIFA, or threatened to send troops to accession the Falkland Islands should the stars of the Premier League set foot on them.
- Our robustly checked, single source for our story, ‘El Fabrico’, who over months we’ve got to know well down the pub and said he was a close personal friend of Diego Maradona, is not fully trustworthy.
In our defence, we’d like to add that to criticise our handling of this story is to misunderstand how top football journalism works.
It is perfectly normal to take at face value the improbable claims of people from football’s fringes whose only interest is clearly in making money. Aside from this story, everything we have ever printed on 1FITG is 100% true, such as “Pep Guardiola signs for English club” or “exclusive: player’s agent just phoned me and said something that isn’t self-evidently untrue”.
We could have simply ignored the fact we got this implausible story completely and utterly wrong. The fact that we didn’t only shows how dedicated we are to accuracy, and the trustworthiness of our football journalism.
Rest assured, only a top quality outlet of football journalism like 1FITG could get it this wrong.