By Chris Wright
Dutch side FC Den Bosch have become the latest suckers to fall foul of candid cameras after a group of pranksters from a Dutch television programme did the old ‘fake sheikhs’ schtick and met with club officials to discuss a completely fictitious €50million takeover.
In a bid to see how much of the club’s soul the executives were willing to sell, Dutch show PowNews had a man pose as ‘Sheikh Rashid bin Abdulaziz al Massir’ and represent the ‘Al Massir Group’, who claimed to be interested in buying-out Den Bosch if certain demands were met.
In order for the takeover to go through, Sheikh Al Massir ordered that current head coach Ruud Kaiser be sacked; that the club change their name to Dragons den Bosch; that the colour of the club’s kit had to be altered; that homosexual players would be prohibited from joining the club; that alcohol would be banned at the stadium and that men and women would be forced to use separate entrances at the stadium too.
As can be seen on the footage, the Den Bosch suits appeared not to have any qualms in going along with the Sheikh’s ludicrous requirements. Indeed, email correspondence between the two parties after the meeting (which was subsequently released by the television company) saw Den Bosch’s director Fred van der Hoorn call the talks “too good to be true”.
However, according to Den Bosch president Maarten de Gruyter, the club weren’t strung along at all and were perfectly aware that the Sheikh was an imposter, telling Dutch news outlet Omroep Brabant:
“We knew all along it was a joke. We sent a volunteer to the talks because we were onto them. There were email exchanges but we never took them seriously.”
Anyway, shortly after the story broke the Den Bosch players posted a picture of their reaction on Twitter, along with the caption: “We as a group of players are ready for the takeover”…
— Benjamin vd Broek (@Benjivdb) December 10, 2013
Tongues firmly rooted in cheeks there, we suspect.
(Via ESPN FC)