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Ex-Sunderland marketing employee behind Newcastle takeover hoax

A former Sunderland employee was behind last week's incredible £150 million takeover hoax of Newcastle United, it has been revealed.

The Daily Mail says an axed Sunderland FC employee has admitted responsibility for masterminding the hoax concerning the North East businessman heading a consortium bidding to buy Newcastle United.

Martin Walker, who was a media and PR officer at the Stadium of Light until sacked in April, invented the Rick Parkinson name for his Sunderland fan friend Richard Parker, whom he photographed as part of the spoof press release he sent from a fictitious PR agency.

It attracted much media attention - as did the second revelation that it was a scam.

Walker said: "I need to find work and there may be employers who consider I've shown initiative and know what to do to get publicity.

"Sunderland can't think too badly about me because the chairman Niall Quinn responded in a friendly way to my email congratulating the club on staying in the Premier League."

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