Sky Sports News: Fact or Fiction?
We are in the midst of the worst period of the football year. Not only is there hardly any football to watch (thank Jebus there is only two days before Euro 2008 starts), but the press, and certain 24 hour sports news channels, are in speculation overdrive.
This rash speculation seems to have taken over Bleacher Report as well, with many transfer rumors incorrectly presented as completed deals, when there might in reality be much more left in the story before a player signs on the dotted line.
Some Bleacher members are even referring to news channels as factual sources, while official club websites, always the first to announce official transfer news, are ignored.
Sky Sports News is the biggest offender, by its very nature it has to have new football news every day, every hour, every minute. The trouble is, at this time of the year, when an international tournament is about to start, and when those not playing or managing in it are on holiday, then actual news is pretty thin on the ground.
As a result, they rely on the word of agents, "club sources," and other unmentionables. Now the word of an agent can't be trusted at the best of times, but in the middle of the transfer window?
They are hardly likely to announce that there is no interest whatsoever in their player, and he is not looking to renegotiate his contract, are they?
Of course Sky Sports News gets a lot right, it has to, its raison d'etre is to supply the news of the day, but, at this time of the year more than any other, it also gets an awful lot wrong.
This is because it merely presents the transfer rumors of the day, it does not claim them as fact, it is far more sensible than that.
What appears in the press in the morning is highly likely to appear on Sky Sports News later in the day, particularly those stories from The Sun and The Times, because they all come under the Rupert Murdoch media empire.
Many people read these papers, watch these channels, and present the rumors as facts to other people, and so the rumor mill goes on.
From a personal viewpoint it would be nice if Bleacher Report were a little less like Sky Sports News.
Of course we can all guess at what players are going where, and who is following which manager to whom, its part of the fun of football, but we should endeavor to ensure we actually have the facts when we are claiming to present factual information.
Here are ten stories chosen from today's news on the Sky Sports website, let's see in the next few months how many of them actually turn out to become deals:
Cristiano Ronaldo will move to Real Madrid, as long as they are prepared to meet Manchester United's asking price.
Giovanni Dos Santos will join Spurs for £4.7m up front, rising to £7.9m.
Ronaldinho and Jo could both join Manchester City after Mark Hughes ratified the deals.
Emmanuel Adebayor is AC Milan's top summer transfer target.
Stoke City are targeting Lee McCulloch from Rangers, but are not interested in Daniel Cousin.
Zoltan Gera will leave West Brom, with Fulham leading the chase for the soon to be out of contract star.
Jose Mourinho is happy with his strikers at Inter Milan, and is not interested in Didier Drogba.
Three Premier League clubs are chasing Anderlecht defender Roland Juhasz, with Newcastle said to be leading the chase for the Hungarian.
Spurs are believed to be leading the race to sign Real Zaragoza forward Sergio Garcia.
Richard Dunne could be set to stay at Manchester City after the arrival of Mark Hughes as manager.
So there you have it, ten random rumors from Thursday June 5th 2008. By 31st August 2008 we will have some idea about which had truth, and which were tittle tattle with no foundation.
Until the transfer window closes, I urge all Bleacher members to be careful with their reporting of moves as fact; after all, we all want to know what’s really happening in the football world.
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