The biggest newspaper group in China, People’s Daily on Monday slammed the British media over their roles in stoking false rumours about Wayne Rooney.
Several British media and pundits previously have published a series of reports of the Manchester United star, who was linked with a potential move to Chinese Super League during the winter transfer window.
“The endless rumours of Rooney’s CSL transfer were mostly ‘fabricated’ by the British press. And CSL clubs who made their presence felt in recent transfer windows had been inevitably drawn into the rumor mill,” the People’s Daily wrote in an editorial.
“Apart from the media, a handful of the big names in football such as Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Thierry Henry have also made their voices heard.
The flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China also protested against the stereotypical portrayal of the Chinese top flight.
“Despite having differences, they shared the same grounds for argument which asserted that only aging footballers whose powers are on the wane and are losing foothold in the top European leagues deserve to ply their trade in China for the sole purpose of making money,” it added.
“The fact that super stars would deign to move to a country whose national football team is ranked 86th in the world is beyond their imagination. However, those people should pay attention to the CSL signings of Oscar and [Alex] Teixeira, both of whom have been at the very top levels of the game.
“In contrast, players like Paul Gascoigne who practically enjoyed early retirement in China now find it increasingly difficult to find a job here.
“The perception of the CSL being a ‘retirement home’ for fading stars hanging on for a final payday needs to be changed. The CSL are no longer willing to make do with such a bad reputation.”