April Fools’ Day at Soccerlens

Yes my friends, it’s that time of the year when people pull pranks on each other and take great pride in it.

This is not a philosophical debate on whether April Fools’ day has any value (nor is this a right-vs-wrong debate), but you are welcome to make your feelings known in the comments below.

What I WOULD like to do is to use this opportunity to have some fun. Here’s a list of completely made-up ‘news’ posts I’m going to putting up today (and yes, I’m hoping that you guys read them first before coming here). No malice or harm intended.

if you haven’t, read the ‘news’ items below, and if you have any comments regarding any of them (as comments are closed on all these news items to prevent comment abuse), please let me know in the comments section at the end of this article.

Soccerlens will return to more ‘regular’ news coverage from Monday. There are a couple of new columns we’re starting, plus the Champions League quarter-finals are upon us. We also have today’s daily football news roundup ready (real news, I assure you).

April Fools’ Day News

Manchester United

Ferguson exclusive: I’ll retire after Manchester United win treble

Ronaldo exclusive: Manchester United can’t keep me here against my wishes

Gill: McClaren in frame for Manchester United job


Abramovich: “Chelsea is bigger than Mourinho, I love Chelsea fans”

Abramovich sells Robben; “Real Madrid made Chelsea an offer I couldn’t refuse”


Fabregas: Arsenal can only hope for 2nd place next season


Nani: Tottenham are not a big club

Bale: I won’t learn anything at Tottenham


Shepherd: Newcastle to sell Owen to generate funds


Gerrard: Liverpool’s success depends on me playing in the middle

Stories that didn’t make it

There were a handful (more than a handful) of story ideas that I didn’t publish, either because of a lack of time or because they weren’t as good as the ones I had already written. I’ve listed them here for the record.

  • Wenger: I’m leaving Arsenal this summer
  • Kroenke: I want to buy Arsenal
  • Houllier: I will come back to manage Liverpool one day
  • Jol: Tottenham must profit from Real Madrid’s sinking ship
  • Magnusson eyeing McClaren as Curbishley replacement for West Ham
  • West Ham fans vow to storm Soho Square if club is penalised


It’s been a day or so since I wrote the spoof interviews, and while they’re only just gaining momentum there is plenty to learn from this experience already.

Here are 10 things I wanted to share with you guys:

  1. Creating news is fun – I had a lot of fun doing the interviews – it took me a lot of time to do them, but it was worth it.
  2. Credit where credit is due – Hasan, thank you for egging me on into taking a half-baked idea on Saturday night into a full-fledged (albeit a bit rushed) April Fools prank on Sunday morning.
  3. Some people say it’s not April Fools if it’s after noon, but I beg to differ 🙂 Funny is funny, and if you found this funny, it doesn’t really matter what time of the day it was.
  4. The site kept crashing in the first few hours – a LOT of traffic and many of them trying to comment. I had to turn the comments off (ugly stuff coming through anyway) and that eased up the load a bit. I have to upgrade though, and I’ll be doing that this month.
  5. Needed more preparation – ok, even 5 minutes of prep gave me 16 good ideas (I finished 10 of them) and I think with more preparation it could have been more elaborate and better promoted. I’m not complaining though, fun and traffic, who can argue with that?
  6. Apparently a lot of people got pissed off. To be honest, I admit that the Tottenham posts were plain digs (and funny for non-Tottenham folks), ditto for the Arsenal post, while the Liverpool and Newcastle items were just distorted news.

    However, I loved doing the Abramovich interviews, and I had the most fun (and put in the most effort) in doing the Manchester United pieces. 5 classics out of 10 tries – not bad for a rushed job.

  7. Am I going to leave them up? Yes. I think it’s important to be able to laugh at ourselves and our clubs as football fans, and I tried to do that with the Manchester United pieces.
  8. I hope everyone else enjoyed reading all 10 as much as I had fun writing them.
  9. The chilling thought is that with a little bit of application, you can VERY EASILY make up news and drive lots of traffic to your site. This drove home the point that we need to be careful with what we write, as we are responsible for everything we say.
  10. I didn’t see any of the football newsies pull a good prank, which is a bit disappointing. Considering the traffic I got on Sunday (a slow day) and the knock-on flood I’m getting today (and will tomorrow as well), I think events like these are important to capitalise on for site owners.

    I really thought that the Sun would pull something, but all they had to talk about was Paris Hilton’s boob job. Then again, maybe that does get more traffic than fake footy news…

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