I feel like I've been writing about Manchester United too much lately, but when the club stays in the news, it's hard to avoid. On Wednesday, they were active in Champions League. On Thursday, Alex Ferguson was making thought provoking (read: curious) statements about the Marseille result. Today, people are fascinated with the Glazers, an example of which can be seen at the Guardian:
In the left column you see a story that seems to need reiterating every other month: The Glazers are not interested in selling. No matter how many alarms David Conn tries to sound or whether the latest bid from Qatar can eclipse £1.5 billion. Manchester United is not on the market, nor have they been since the Glazer family took control in 2005.
So why the continued fascination?
It seems the right time to ask, seeing as non-stories are now being reported as news. Manchester United not being for sale is garnering headlines, but shouldn't it just be assumed that the Glazers want to keep something they own? Seems logical. People usually own things because they want them and have use for them. When that changes, they sell.
Just because the Glazers are asked to explicitly state what should be a given does not make this a story. It makes it inane. Implied and common knowledge should not be news.
In fairness to Jamie Jackson (the writer) and the Guardian, the story being at the top of their web page may be less a reflection of newsworthiness than demand. Speculation about the Qatar bid has captured a few imaginations. But it's no more than speculation, its roots no better bedded than those of a common transfer rumor. And it's the rare transfer rumor that ascends the heights of the Guardian's layout, especially once the rumors are shown unfounded.
But the Guardian's not alone. Sky Sports, BBC, and the Independent all have United's non-news as one of their top stories. It's just too bad there's nothing new to report.