Date: 30th July 2013 at 11:06am
Written by:

Conduit`s appear to be the latest in the knows (ITK)…. in the mad world of online forums and most especially Twitter/Facebook.

I`m not sure what it is with people really. Everyone seems to have to trip over themselves to be the first to know, not only the first to know (they are, frankly, usually the last to know any FACTS at all) but the first to tell everyone. ‘Look at me, I`m special, I know something`…. Special needs more like.

I get quite fed up with some of it, especially the conspiracy theories and certainly some of their claims are libellous. I can say with some certainty, the truth is more often than not, very very dull. No conspiracies, no major fall outs, no tapping up, no illegal approaches, just total plain and boring business.

Those of you not ofay with social media probably won`t know what the heck I`m going on about, stay like that, it is a seriously deluded world online at times!

There are people, especially on twitter, who say they are used by the club to get news out. They claim to be conduits, or as one put it, condutit… you could at least spell the word right if that is what you are!

Put simply, I`ve done this for over a decade and know for a fact that the club don`t use conduits and if you believe they do, ask yourself one question.


Seriously…… why do people believe they need to?

They have loads of press contacts to put out fires, quash rumours or correct incorrect stories. They have new media contacts like this site that can easily do the same. And, low and behold, they have a press section at the Club AND an official site plus their own facebook/twitters.

It is very seldom they will quell a rumour because once they have done it for one, they would have to do it for all, where would it end?

Also, sometimes things change very quickly in football.

Two examples:

1) James Milner… Villa asked Newcastle one day if he was available, they said no. A few days later they got in touch saying he was. So if anyone had done an article ‘Milner not for sale` the one day, it would have been correct. A few days later it would have looked totally misinformed and wrong.

2) Alex McLeish… I asked if we`d approached Alex McLeish. The answer was no. Turns out that he`d approached us. Pedantic maybe, but I`d misinterpreted the answer or got the question wrong in the first place. I put 2+2 together and came up with 5. I didn`t publish anything as it was told to me off the record, however I did re-assure a few Villa contacts and obviously what I said was wrong.

The people I told re: McLeish were so relieved, I let them down trying to do the ‘right thing` … not a good thing to do!

Hence, I don`t play the ITK game. Nor does Fieldy. People forget very quickly who told them first but people don`t forget who told them incorrectly!

Many years back, Mike Field and myself knew for 100% fact and had a picture to prove it, that Noberto Solano had met with Steve Stride at a hotel in Hull. We had the world exclusive, a true scoop. However, we also had to make a judgement. Do we scoop and get two seconds of glory IF the move works out? Maybe… But then, what if we blew the deal? Other clubs might have been alerted to his availability. Or he might not have had permission to talk to us. Or the deal might not have been done and he`d have had to go back and face the Newcastle fans because if we`d scooped, it would have made the press.

We didn`t publish.

It is called integrity. Something these ‘itk`s` and conduits don`t have.

The club do not play games. In fact, many say they don`t communicate enough, especially Randy Lerner who many fans would love to hear from just every now and then. Why would they choose some random person that no one knows to pass on information? They wouldn`t, it would make no sense at all.

As said, the club use the official site, the press, new media and do work with a good level of trust. You break that trust or break confidences, you would soon not get that level of trust.

The saga on twitter at the moment appears to be over a player and the suggestion is the club are informing this one person in order to keep us all up to date. People actually believe this. We might or might not sign this player, early info was we weren`t going for him but as said, things can change (and no, don`t read between the lines, there is no hidden conduit message there lol) but one thing is for sure, no one at the Club has any need to inform us through a random on twitter as to the state of play. That is done on the official site once the signing is made. Think about past history with this regime. Most of the links turn out wrong and the next minute bish, bash, bosh, unexpected signings appear!

The one thing you can do is ask those at the Club on issues. Sometimes they can answer, other times they can`t. One instance was the rumour Martin O`Neill had resigned before the Chelsea game some years back. He hadn`t. I asked if that answer was in confidence and it wasn`t so I was able to TRY to put that to bed. Some still wouldn`t believe it (and most realise when I say something is a fact, it usually is, most of the time it is just opinion and that is open to all the shades or grey, not just black and white) so even when you have it right, some still want to believe the conspiracy theories! Same with the one blog who kept stirring up this massive takeover. It just wasn`t true. That didn`t stop article after article, conspiracy after conspiracy. We ended up with a thread 100 pages long about it. I kept saying, with the right info, want it or not, there isn`t a takeover. I got ‘no smoke without fire` responses from some. Well, quite often there is smoke and no fire online, or just a lot of hot air!!!

My best ‘itk` article was Ruud van Nistelrooy coming to Villa. You had to read a good way down to realise it was a spoof aimed at the abundance of itk`s out there. I wish I`d kept it, it might be in the archives somewhere or perhaps lost on the old independent site. Some didn`t read it all and the rumour started to spread. You read to the end and you`d see his wife had been spotted shopping in the fashion boutiques of Aston….!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So there you have it, most of you won`t have read to the end as this is a bit of a ramble. I find the online world fascinating, it is how I make my living with this site and the entire network of football (plus a few other sports now) sites. Off that we have spun the facebook and twitter parts and they can be great but they can also be savage and as said, full of conspiracy theories and delusions.

Taken with a pinch of salt, it is all good fun, but some of these people ‘I have spoken with the directors and they want me to communicate this to you` I believe to be truly damaging to our club. Simply because they don`t act that way. Honestly they don`t!

So don`t believe them. Don`t get hung up on their posts and remember, in true XFiles stylee… the truth is out there…