1 The Majority of Transfer Speculation Stories are Most Likely Made Up
For the ever growing number of football news websites and blogs all looking for content that will attract traffic to their site there is nothing like a good transfer story. A daily dose foretelling the latest exotic recruit linked to your club keeps many fans at fever pitch for the entire window – even if the original story was a figment of an over-active imagination. Someone, somewhere will post a rumour which is copied, shared and tweeted and like all lies when repeated often enough becomes a fact. Or maybe the original source is an agent attempting to stump up some interest in his want-away client. In the spirit of the game I have invented my own statistic that 80% of all rumours are fabricated.
2 The Tricks and Traps of the Vague Story Title
Even when you have copied someone elses rumour it is no use being obvious that the story is the same as a dozen or so others already on the news feed. The title of the post needs to be vague and cryptic enough to seduce the reader to click on through. The day after West Ham had signed Arthur Masuaku from Olympiakos I saw a headline on Newsnow that read something like “Done Deal: Second Defender Deal Completed in Two Days”. Excited that it was a shiny new Right Back to complete a matching pair I was deflated to discover that the story was about an academy graduate agreeing to go out on loan. Genius and it completely fooled me.
3 The Level of Supporter Outrage That Even a Made Up Story Can Generate
Whenever a transfer story appears there is always an army of angry supporters ready and able to argue about it regardless of how unlikely the whole thing is likely to be. There will be the guy that hates the board and will repeatedly accuses them of penny-pinching/ misleading/ talking to media too much/ not giving supporters enough information; another who is adamant that we are paying well over the odds for every player linked (as if the transfer fee was coming out of his own pocket); and the bloke that doesn’t like or want us to do business with certain other clubs. While opinions on players are perfectly valid (would anyone, for example, really want us to buy Benteke?) it hardly seems worth getting worked up about spurious speculation.
4 It Has a Vocabulary All of It’s Own
From the Manager dipping in to his “war chest” to “swoop” for the “want away” player that has “issued a come and get me plea” to the club that have “slapped a 50 million valuation” on their star player while”preparing a bid” for someone else’s in order to “test their resolve” the transfer window has a jargon rarely experienced anywhere else. Sky Sports understands that this is unlikely to change anytime soon.
5 No Matter How Long the Window There Is Always a Last Minute Scramble
The transfer window is open for two months in the summer and another month in the winter. One assumes that clubs are allowed to draw up their shopping lists well in advance of the window opening and so can clearly can hit the ground running. In fact, West Ham always seem to complete some encouraging early business but then lose momentum. As the days pass there is growing tension and panic leading up to deadline day where a high proportion of the workforce stop work to follow supposed sightings of players at airports, hotels and training grounds. We are told not to go to bed else something that we have some control over happens before the morning when that window will have slammed shut. There could be a good case for having the winter window open for one day only.