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19 Apr, 2021 11:21

Notorious Twitter troll dupes THOUSANDS with claim Spurs sacked Mourinho ‘after he stood up against European Super League plans’

Notorious Twitter troll dupes THOUSANDS with claim Spurs sacked Mourinho ‘after he stood up against European Super League plans’

As if the news of Jose Mourinho’s departure from Tottenham wasn’t enough of a bombshell, football fan accounts – some with millions of followers – were duped by dubious claims from a troll over the nature of the sacking.

Mourinho was handed his marching orders by Spurs on Monday morning with the club languishing down in seventh in the Premier League table, and just six days before they face Manchester City in the League Cup final at Wembley.  

The step comes after an indifferent run of form which has seen the North London club win just one of their last five league games, as well as being dumped out of the UEFA Europa League in humiliating fashion by Croatian underdogs Dinamo Zagreb.  

Also on rt.com Tottenham sack Jose Mourinho just hours after being savaged for joining European Super League during dire Premier League season

But while official reports on Mourinho’s sacking cited displeasure at the club’s alarming form and an increasingly tense atmosphere, one troll account duped large numbers on Twitter by claiming that Mourinho’s sacking had in fact been precipitated by an altogether different matter: the controversial news that Spurs were among the 12 teams to sign up to the breakaway new European Super League.

According to an account going by the name of Trevor Azul (@thechicoazul) – whose bio claims he is 'Chief European Sport Correspondent' at the Economist  – Mourinho was sacked “after an explosive morning where he refused to take [Spurs] players onto the training ground over the club’s proposed Super League admission.”

The playful conjecture soon spread like wildfire on Twitter as Mourinho was hailed as “a hero” for supposedly taking a stand against the much-maligned plans for the new league.

Tagging Azul as the source, assorted Tottenham fan accounts, football bloggers and supporters of all stripes – some with tens of thousands of followers – all shared the news with reckless abandon.

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Some even bigger fish were caught on the bait. The French-language Actu Foot account, which has a following of 2.9 million, apologized after sharing the claims from Azul.

"Our apologies for relaying the information from @thechicoazul according to which José Mourinho would have been fired from Tottenham for having opposed the project of European Super League: the account which is at the origin is parody," wrote the sheepish account. 

Azul himself reveled in the attention, gleefully retweeting the gullible Twitter users who had fallen hook, line and sinker for the ruse.

Other accounts – again unverified – maintained that Mourinho had indeed fallen out with Spurs chief Daniel Levy over the European Super League plans.

Far more reputable sources, including transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, soon stepped in to clarify the sacking. 

"José Mourinho sacking is not linked to Super League... and he’s never refused to take training today. He’s been fired because of results and no nothing else," wrote Romano.

Elsewhere, Athletic writer Sam Lee poured scorn on the dubious rumors. "Bloody hell how many people are believing this ‘Mourinho was fired because he doesn’t like the Super League’ rumour?!" Lee wrote.

"As if they just sacked him on the spot without consulting the contract, lawyers, sorting the comms etc. When would training have started? 10? Come on."

Beyond thanking Mourinho, Tottenham themselves revealed little in their statement on his sacking, with chairman Daniel Levy writing: "Jose and his coaching staff have been with us through some of our most challenging times as a Club. Jose is a true professional who showed enormous resilience during the pandemic.

“On a personal level I have enjoyed working with him and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged. He will always be welcome here and we should like to thank him and his coaching staff for their contribution."  

Spurs confirmed that academy coach Ryan Mason, 29, would take training on Monday as the team prepare for their Wembley date with Pep Guardiola's Man City on Sunday.   

Former RT pundit Mourinho is in line to receive a hefty compensation package from Spurs, said to be in the region of £20 million ($28 million). He has now completed a hat-trick of dismissals by different Premier League clubs, having previously been shown the door by Chelsea (twice) and Manchester United.

The coming days may reveal more on the inside story as to what exactly unfolded during the final few days of Mourinho’s ill-fated 17 months at Tottenham, although in the meantime, football fans on Twitter would do well to be wary of trolls lurking with misinformation.

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