BBC BLOGS - Sport Editors
« Previous | Main | Next »

Sticking to the facts

Post categories:

Howard Nurse | 18:15 UK time, Sunday, 7 May 2006

It's never straightforward trying to provide accurate coverage of Manchester United - and Sunday was a good case in point.

We heard at lunchtime that Ruud van Nistelrooy would not be playing against Charlton and that the striker had "driven away" from Old Trafford.

It didn't take long for stories to appear on our news wires speculating that Ruud would soon by sent packing from the club by Sir Alex Ferguson.

But would it have been right for us at the BBC Sport website to have done the same?

I hope you'd agree that no, it wouldn't have been the right thing to do.

We did decide to write a story explaining the facts as we had them at the time stating that Van Nistelrooy was not playing, United had confirmed he had left the ground and there would be no further comment until after the match against Charlton.

Some of our colleagues at other websites wrote stories suggesting Ruud had "stormed out" of Old Trafford - but did they really know that for a fact?

Interestingly, the Press Association, who supply news stories to many outlets in the UK and beyond, sent out two feature pieces on their newswire. One was his career factfile, the other on Man Utd outcasts - players who have fallen out with Fergie in the past and subsequently been axed.

The headlines on Monday will no doubt say Ruud's career at Man Utd is over - and while I am sure that will be the case after Ferguson said the Dutchman had endangered team spirit during training last week - it would have been unwise for us to rattle off a Ruud's off in his Van headline, no matter how tempting that may have been!

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.