Regular readers of HLTCO will no doubt be aware of my disdain for The Daily Mail and their practices, a feeling that was only intensified by the publication of an article shamefully attempting to drag Palace chairman Steve Parish’s name through the mud yesterday evening.
As I’m sure you’re already aware, former Crystal Palace and current Brighton striker Glenn Murray was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of tax evasion, leaving The Daily Mail free to dig into his life and search for any possible links to other high-profile names in a bid to generate web traffic. Yes, the resulting report lacks in both context and class but that seldom seems to bother the editors at their news-desk.
Clearly, in the mind of Matt Lawton (The Mail’s chief sports writer) the mere fact that both Parish and Murray have invested money into the same chain of chicken restaurants makes the Palace supremo guilty by association. The headline alone “Why does £1m tax probe Brighton striker Glenn Murray have business links to Crystal Palace chairman and football agent?” is shocking. After all, it seems that all Parish is guilty of is investing funds into a brand he believes in.
Business links, we both invested in at @birdrestaurant with lots of other people, I wasn’t asked for a comment
Best fried chicken in london Islington, camden, shoreditch
First 5 people in each branch with the article a burger on me
Insta bird_restaurant https://t.co/osaiQKPFY2
— Steve Parish (@CEO4TAG) January 25, 2018
Quite understandably, Steve himself has already fired back at the article in question on Twitter in a bid to clear up any confusion over the story but he simply shouldn’t have to do anything of the sort given the circumstances. Yes, Murray is currently under investigation by HMRC but to shamelessly drag others into the mud with no proof of wrongdoing is so dangerously out of line I can’t quite believe it’s been published.
We as football fans are often told by those who work on The Daily Mail’s sports desk that they are a completely separate entity to the organisation’s “news” department but in this particular instance, they appear all too happy to have sprinted down the path laid out by their widely reviled colleagues. From what I can gather and for my sins, I’ve read the article twice in full now, Parish has been added to a headline that alludes to some element of wrongdoing as a simple consequence of having some shares in a chain of chicken shops operating across London.
Does that reflect kindly on the journalistic principles of Matt Lawton, his colleagues or The Daily Mail as a whole? No. Am I at all surprised that they’ve written and framed a story of this nature in such a way? Not at all.