Date: 25th June 2018 at 4:46pm
Written by:

Okay, I know it’s football’s silly season where paper and online based writers cover transfer rumours with the kind of vigour you apply to the newest love of your life, but the summer of 2018/19 is potentially going to new levels of absolute stupidity in my humble.

Fuelled by a failure to gain Play-Off promotion in 2017/18 from the Championship as we lost to Fulham at Wembley and with all due deference to the financial cash flow problems we face as a result of that – notwithstanding a Financial Fair Play hole of X amount (which changes almost daily in the media) – I get it, Villa are prime pickings for writers who invent copy during their dinner break because they have mortgages, family and bills to pay.

The tomato sauce falls out the burger onto their shirt – Jack Grealish to Liverpool and Manchester United because they play in red. Mayonnaise drips, oh that’ll be Fulham and so on. Those who like Mustard will create a link to Norwich and on it goes.

Had Jonathan Kodjia not been injured last season we’d be getting stories that he was off to Manchester City, Everton, Burnley and West Ham United. I could write them myself and make it reasonably legible and probably sound more plausible than most of the Sun and Mirror links have been this summer.

The James Chester rumours aren’t new. For me, it still falls under the ‘not big and not clever’ tag as well but hey ho, it’s time for a media rehash so here it is again.

We’re already short on centre-halves following the departure of John Terry and Chris Samba and there remains a doubt about the future of Tommy Elphick given the speculation surrounding him and a possible move to Reading.

So we know it’s rubbish…particularly links to Championship level opponents.

As I say, departure news is not new, it goes back a few weeks and was incredibly well covered back then.

The 72 (Weblog) were spidered on Newsnow at 21.52 on June 24 (yesterday). They headlined their piece ‘Stoke City ready to make a move for Villa defender’.

I don’t need to read their words because they quickly stated that their coverage of this was based on a Birmingham Mail article. That was their sauce for the piece.

Here’s where it gets interesting in rehash world, something, unfortunately, the Birmingham Mail are now experts at as they subtly change the headline 2-4 times during a 48 hour period to repeat identical content on news aggregators. They are far from alone so I’m not picking them out unfairly, other outlets are doing it simply for an extra bounce on Twitter as well. I more than get why they do it – bills to pay and it obviously helps – we can’t do that by the way and why would we?

You only want to read our nonsense once – if that!

Checking the Birmingham Mail report it dates to June 22.

The Birmingham Mail, outside of the Express & Star, are one of the two leading journalistic publications in our fine City. They have their own ties to the club, their own relationship with sources, staff and players, so clearly they got this speculation first hand.

Fake news, as Donald Trump would say.

Their report leant on a story from Football Insider who claimed an ‘exclusive’ back on June 14 and leant on a ‘well-placed source’ – I’ll call her Doris the Tea Lady.

So the story on Sunday comes from a publication who claims to be an ‘insider’ and has an ‘exclusive’ that I doubt for a start. I might be wrong, but they aren’t local with ties, they aren’t even a typical national outlet with a more local reporter like a number of the red tops. A week and a half later their claim is given credence by a local publication that should have ties and does, and that’s then repeated by another site with no presumed ties of their own. All three make statements in their headlines – it’s not a rumour. It’s presented as fact.

Welcome to the media in 2018 folks, sports journalism has always been an oxymoron, a changing industry and Leveson’s words falling on deaf ears – and his words were meant for something far more important than football – and this is where we find ourselves, reading the same stuff, slightly repackaged, on a daily basis thinking it might actually be new.

Will James Chester move on this summer? I don’t know but I wouldn’t rule it out at the moment. Nobody knows unless Mr Chester wants to make a statement, but he’s experienced, a Welsh international and he’s played in the Premier League before. IF he wants to move or the club need him to move, why would he stay in the Championship? His form and reliability for us last season should get him a solid Premier League team, especially with the top flight sides apparently on the hunt for centre-halves.

Click for the forum

Comments are closed.