Yesterday afternoon, Sky Sports News exclusively “broke” the news that Crystal Palace were in talks with former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini over the vacant manager’s post, before backtracking hugely shortly after.
I dare say most of you will be aware that Palace have also been heavily linked with a move for former Alaves boss Mauricio Pellegrino this summer, after the Argentine quit the Spanish club at the end of the 2016/17 campaign. I wouldn’t normally expect an outfit like Sky Sports News to get two admittedly similar names mixed up before going public with a story about the former but as yesterday afternoon wore on, it became increasingly obvious that they had indeed accidentally named the wrong man.
Having initially placed a story about the potential move on the Sky Sports website, the link now no longer exists after their editors took it down in embarrassment. Their initial statement was one that Palace fans jumped on immediately as being false, partly because Steve Parish has already spoken of wanting a younger manager to build a legacy in SE25 and partly as a consequence of Pellegrini’s no doubt lucrative current deal with Chinese outfit Hebei China Fortune.
The knock-on effect of the speculation was of course a flurry of bets being placed on the Chilean across the U.K., despite him failing to feature in the odds prior to the news being broken by Sky. It is at this juncture that it’s worth remembering the bookmaking arm of their organisation “SkyBet” who cheekily inserted the former City boss in the market at odds of 5/1 shortly after breaking the “news” of our interest.
Having almost certainly taken a fair few bets on Manuel rocking up at Selhurst Park in the not too distant future, they mysteriously removed him from the betting in the early evening, providing an almost blatant admission of them having given false information earlier in the day. We will of course never hear an apology from Sky themselves but the whole tale does go to show how quickly lies can spread when they are packaged in a convincing fashion.