This slipped by quietly on Saturday, and that is exactly what the Independent would like. But the newspaper that first "broke" the story that Tevfik Arif was ready to buy Aston Villa have been forced to issue a rather embarassing retraction. The addendum has been placed at the top of the original story, and is fairly damning. Here is the statement in full:
Update: Mr Tevfik Arif has today asked us to make it clear that other than being an avid sports fan himself, he: has no experience of running football clubs; has never met Randy Lerner; and neither he, nor any members of his family, or anyone acting on his behalf has any interest in acquiring Aston Villa Football Club; in addition, he has no involvement in any sports related businesses. We are happy to set out Mr Arif’s position.
It makes it seem as if they pretty much lied about the whole story to begin with. If they indeed had a source saying that Arif wanted to buy Villa, they could have stuck to their guns. The conversation would have gone like this:
Arif: Take it down, I don't want Villa.
The Independent: That's fine, but our source said you did, the story is, technically, true. Up it stays!
Arif: /sulks away
But instead, the Independent have been forced to put up the update. You could say that they are simply operating on good faith, but we all know better than to think that about the British media.
I guess that's one name we can cross off the list.