Adelaide United left red-faced by hoax
News that Adelaide United had managed to lure two internationals to South Australia must have been welcome news to supporters. News that one of them doesn’t actually exist must not have been.
Last Wednesday, Portuguese Fabio Ferreira and American Dexter Rosales were announced to be coming to Adelaide to trial with the Reds. Both have impressive rap sheets with Ferreira being a former Chelsea player and Rosales being linked to several clubs on different continents.
According to a July 24th article by BigPondSport.com, Rosales played with “Dutch champions Ajax and Spanish heavyweights Valencia as former clubs.
“The 25-year-old supposedly enjoyed stints with Argentine giants River Plate and Colombian side Club Atletico Junior at youth level, while representing the United States at Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 level.”
Not bad, you might say. Too good to be true, more like it.
Ferreira really is a Portuguese national who played for Chelsea. Rosales… well, apparently, doesn’t actually exist.
That’s right, United offered a trial date to a phantom player.
And according to the club, not only is this fairly ‘normal’, they claim to not be the only club to be had by the hoaxers.
A club spokesman has stated: “We’re not the first club to be given a false lead with a supposed trialist, but other clubs probably just don’t promote it to the world like we did.”
And looking at the guy’s resume, it’s easy to see how a professional sporting club could be fooled.
The guy’s resume looked flawless, detailing him playing for Ajax with, according to The Advertiser, a medical report declaring minor injuries. That’ll do! Let’s send him an invite to trial!
How Adelaide United could even begin to not only laugh this off but allege ‘it could happen to anyone’ is ludicrous. In what other profession are a resume and a single medical report enough to warrant sending an overseas invite?
How about birth certificates, passports, photo ID, voice confirmation on the phone? What about contacting former employees for verification?
Or what about a very common and easy to do practice amongst newly dating teenage girls and googling your new man? Doing so would have revealed a now deleted Wikipedia article detailing an incorrect birth date to the documentation Adelaide received and pictures of an Ajax player by the name of Rosales but with a first name of Mauro, not Dexter.
These are very easy common practices conducted by every professional enterprise. If other clubs had been conned by the incredible Rosales, I am more than willing to believe that. We all receive phoney spam emails, but not everyone opens and then replies to them. And not everyone makes an offer to the spammer to join them or discuss business.
Adelaide’s actions here reveal some worryingly unprofessional practices. And while supporters and the club will move on very quickly and write this off as a minor mistake, it should prompt some serious conversation about how a cavalier attitude towards inviting strangers into club change rooms is a bad idea.
In the short-term it makes you look like a real turkey, for one thing. And it is not a good look for a club who has already failed to re-sign key player Marcos Flores. Not to mention sending the wrong signal on a league which already has some identity issues.
In short, Adelaide United look like dills for trying to sign a non-existent player. But it’s a mistake that should not be laughed off.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, a Nigerian prince has informed me they have mistakenly deposited $1m into my bank account, and needs my bank details to correct the mistake. Seems legit.
Facts in this article are can be referenced by author upon request.
Sport, all day long. Does this sound too good to be true? We're searching for a Group Sales Manager to lead our team in Sydney. If you're a sales star who doesn't mind a hit, kick, throw, or cycle, we want to hear from you. Apply now.