Often Partisan

Indian Website Takeover Hoax

News seemed to break earlier of a takeover of Birmingham City by an Indian consortium. The news, purporting to come from Indian newspaper The Indian Express said that brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia were going to buy out Birmingham City and keep on Peter Pannu in a role of MD.

I’m not even going to link the story because the truth is it’s complete hogswash. However the nature of why it is hogswash needs to be highlighted and questions need to be asked as to why it was done.

While the story makes out that it comes from the Indian Express it does not. A rudimentary search of www.indianexpress.com shows the story isn’t listed on there – and this is where the unravelling begins. The URL for the fake story begins www.indianexpresssport.com – a completely different domain to the one of the website despite looking exactly the same.

A search using various online tools show that www.indianexpresssport.com is a wordpress site hosted on a server based in Studley, Oxfordshire. A further search indicates that there are at least two other websites on the server – www.electricculture.co.uk and www.nationalcateringwarehouse.com. Despite having domain names that would indicate that they should be ordinary businesses at the time I checked both also were clones of the Indian Express site.

So why the hoax?

This for me is the crux of the question. I’m especially curious as the story seemed to make pains to say that the Ruia brothers were impressed by Peter Pannu and wanted to keep him on. Has Mr Pannu got some mysterious fan trying to promote him as the saviour of the club? It’s especially more interesting bearing in mind the rumours about Pannu quitting the club which emanated from Bryan Swanson a couple of weeks ago – which like this story drew blank looks when I asked my contacts at the club what was going on. Indeed; I received an email almost as soon as I saw this story to tell me it was untrue.

It’s not helpful at this moment in time with so much uncertainty surrounding the club about a takeover to have someone make this sort of information up – especially when it seems believable as I think this did to some. Hopefully whoever it was who thought this was a good idea will give it a rest.

Edit 10:15 16 Sep GMT

I’ve had to edit this story for legal reasons. I’ve also disabled further comments on this story. As of now the offending article and the other websites mentioned in this article have been taken down. No comment as to why that has happened has yet been made.

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7 Responses to “Indian Website Takeover Hoax”

  • Art says:

    Thanks Dan for exposing what was obviously a nasty hoax.

    The supporters deserve far better than this!

  • Oldbluenose says:

    why oh why, do some people find such malicious rumors, so necessary to perpetrate on on desperate clubs such as we Bluenoses, ?.
    I echo Art, in thanking Daniel in fully exposing this piece of trash, !!.

  • Matt says:

    got a feeling it was a viler

  • derbyblue says:

    a simple Google search also shows a very similar story, same setup doin the rounds for our friends across the Expressway earlier this year…. theres some very sad people around with too much time on their hands! i wont post the link, the colour scheme on Vile Talk website is too distressing…! doesnt help when the local media channels get taken in by the story too. nb note to EveMail journos “try google searches before printing your made up flannel”

  • AussieBlue says:

    G’Day Blooflame; have a few at the Washford Mill for me and p*ss on them too eh?

  • AussieBlue says:

    Great work Dan. I didn’t like the smell of it either and guessed Pannu was behind it but you’ve come up with the evidence.

    BTW love the photo of the little group from the Leeds game wearing their peakies on the bcfc official site. I’m having a ball guessing which one is Staffs, Mark, Dave, RG, BF……I’m gonna get me a peakie and wear it down at Bondi!

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Whoever the hoaxer was he/she was well informed I.e. he knew that the EGM was postponed etc.
    Staff’s posted the article on this forum yesterday. Where did you first see the article Staffs?


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