In which France’s premier daily sports publication reveals itself to be somewhere between Will Leitch and Hugh Trevor-Roper on the gullibility scale. From The Guardian’s Paul Doyle and Rob Smyth :
The Fiver was today amused to chance upon a feature on L’Equipe’s website entitled ‘Les Bad Boys du Foot Anglais’. Taking $tevie Mbe’s recent bother with the law as their cue, Les Diligent Boys du Hackery Francais informed their readers that “in March 2008 Robbie Fowler was arrested for possession of £120,000 worth of cocaine”. Unaware of any such event ever having occurred, the Fiver elected to look further into this sordid affair. And its research ended at exactly the same place, you suspect, as L’Equipe’s; that place being here.
So now permit the Fiver, in the gleeful tone of a schoolboy who’s just caught his principal smoking behind the bike shed, to dispense some elementary lessons to our intrepid French colleagues.
1) When looking for impeccable sources for a story, think twice before turning to a website called www.thespoof.com. 2) If you have not already heard raucous alarm bells, prick up your ears when said site carries quotes from a chap purporting to be Robbie Fowler’s lawyer and glories in the name Mr Bob Tw@t. 3) If your internal sirens are still strangely silent, ask yourself why the last line of the story was immediately followed, in bold type, by the following statement: “the story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.” 4) If you have ignored all of the above, feel free to shout “oh merde” very loudly indeed. 5) Now sit back and await correspondence from Fowler’s real-life lawyer. Clue: we don mean Mr Bob Tw@t.