John Cross’ reputation within the world of sporting journalism isn’t exactly a stellar one, a byproduct no doubt of his willingness to run with stories that offer little in the way of truth but do include a sensational headline.
The Mirror’s football correspondant has focused his unique set of skills onto Crystal Palace FC this weekend, suggesting with little to no foundation in fact that there is a “huge rift” within our dressing room over the disparity that exists in their weekly wage packets, using his almost childlike writing style to provoke feelings of concern amongst those supporters who foolishly take the words of a “professional” journalist at face value.
The tabloid press, much like the vultures that live across the African Savanna, are always more than willing to peck at the carcass of a public institution in the hope of adding to the sense of hysteria that is already on the verge of spilling over. They make their money through shock and awe, running with a lopsided perspective on the truth without feeling compelled to ask a single question along the way. John Cross, unsurprisingly, revels in the opportunity to paint such vivid if false landscapes on a daily basis.
It’s strange that stories such as this seldom make their way onto the back pages of a newspaper when the team in question are flying at the top of the league table, after all, players’ wages are the same in a good run of form as they are when results aren’t going their way, but at that stage, it doesn’t fit with the toxic narrative that is relentlessly peddled by Cross and co., who before the post-Christmas slump, simply linked our best players with moves away from SE25 at the earliest available opportunity.
It should be said, that not all of the industry in question deserves to be looked upon with the same sense of disapproval, indeed earlier this morning, we referenced a brilliantly written piece from The Guardian’s Sachin Nakari, which documented the reasons for Palace’s three-month long collapse under the guidance of Alan Pardew, which you can read here. Far removed from Cross’ sensationalist stylings, it actually makes for a thought-provoking piece.
Sadly, you need only look at the number of “shares” John Cross’ article has already received to get a grasp on why the tabloid press continue to operate in such a maniacal fashion; controversy, much like sex, sells.