I imagine that when Irishman and deputy sports editor of The Guardian website, Barry Glendenning published his transfer column today he wasn't expecting the huge outrage it has sparked on Twitter.
Speaking about rumours that Napoli are interested in signing Danny Welbeck, Glendenning made a joke, saying:
Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon has let Welbeck's agent know that Napoli are interested in signing up his client, but with Everton and Tottenham also interested, the club from one of Italy's mafia strongholds will need to make Manchester United and Welbeck himself an offer they can't refuse.
For anyone, like myself, who isn't that well read on the mafia in Naples, here are a couple of articles that might help; 'The mafia left Naples in ruins. Can they do the same to Pompeii?' is one, 'Naples waste crisis: Italy may use army against mafia' is another. While 'The Camorra Never Sleeps' is a good Vanity Fair piece.
So Glendenning, tongue firmly lodged in his cheek, made a joke referencing The Godfather in explaining how it will be hard for Napoli to prise Welbeck away from the Premier League.
The joke has sparked a bit of controversy:
@bglendenning you're the most stupid, ignorant, journalist i've find in the world...oh sorry...journalist is too much...you're an ape.
— Maurizio Manico (@Manicomitico) May 1, 2014
@bglendenning think you should retract your comment about Naples, this isn't a Hollywood movie. Real life has no glamour I'm afraid — Errol (@luigi_rinaldi) May 1, 2014
@bglendenning fuck you english bastard !!!!!
— ezio lella (@eziolella) May 1, 2014
@bglendenning clean your mouth when you talk about Napoli. You have no culture. — Giovanni La Pietra (@giolp83) May 1, 2014
@bglendenning, what do you think about #DaniAlves? Your sentence about #Napoli is the same: racist, stupid and pathetic... #NoToRacism
— A. Davide Madonna (@maestrodarte77) May 1, 2014
@bglendenning Your reference to the Mafia, speaking of Naples, in your article on The Guardian, is simply shameful pic.twitter.com/lUlPFzTSpx — Rocco Truda (@RoccoTruda) May 1, 2014
@bglendenning Naples is a beautiful city, full of love and passion, and you are only an idiot.
— Giovanni Padovano (@Padovano95) May 1, 2014
@bglendenning I hope the mafia could touch you!!! But you have understood what you have written or when you write are drunk? #ForzaNapoli — fred7106 (@fred7106) May 1, 2014
@Sfincione @sscnapoli @ADeLaurentiis I'm not British.
— Barry Glendenning (@bglendenning) May 1, 2014
@_carlo_m @simonachinaski @maestrodarte77 That's fine by me. There is lots of crime in Ireland and Sunderland aren't very good. — Barry Glendenning (@bglendenning) May 1, 2014
Meanwhile, he's also written a piece about Saipan today where he called Triggs 'goofy.' In the words of Kevin Keegan, I'm not havin' that!