Ross Barkley is the latest hot Newcastle United transfer ‘target’, allegedly.
With the newspaper sales dropping like a stone, along with advertising, they are getting ever more desperate to attract the online clicks.
Online advertising income is rising for the papers but not remotely anywhere close to making up for good old-fashioned newspaper in hand related income.
Twitter is now the latest easy way for ‘journalists’ to put together a story, ‘Newcastle fans on Twitter say…’.
The bottom line is that social media such as Twitter has its place, and it can be useful, but basically you can find every opinion you could want on social media, so you can write anything you want and claim this is what Newcastle supporters are saying.
It is not a lie but it might only be one or two of them saying it.
If Twitter had been around when Kevin Keegan and/or Sir Bobby were at the height of their Newcastle powers, I have no doubt that journalists could easily have found Newcastle fans slagging them off. The whole anonymity of social media means to a large extent, you have no idea who anybody is, or indeed whether they do indeed support that particular club.
One of the other particular growing evils of this summer transfer window, is newspapers increasingly resorting to stories based on odds bookies are offering on a player joining a particular club.
You’ll have seen the type of thing ‘Neymar set for Sunderland as odds tumble…’.
These stories rely mainly on the vast majority of people not having a great understanding of these betting markets on where a player might end up.
If you had a million pound and wanted to back a horse to win the Grand National, the bookies would take it.
If you had a hundred pound and wanted to back Ross Barkley to come to Newcastle, they wouldn’t. Well, they certainly wouldn’t at the odds they are advertising.
The ‘which club a player is going to’ markets are novelty ones, a bit like which colour hat the Queen will wear.
The bookies simply use them as a means to get usually free, or very cheap, advertising.
A bit like that non-league fat goalkeeper eating a pie when sitting on the bench last season (or was it the year before?). All set up by the bookies and yes they paid out a few quid to those that took the novelty odds BUT it was a pittance compared to all the publicity it generated.
With the players moving odds, it is a similar story, only small bets are allowed and if a large number of bets are placed (maybe a few hundred quid, which is nothing in usual betting markets), the price will drastically change, as unlike most sporting contests, it is possible for people to know for sure that a player is joining a particular club, or a new manager being appointed.
So Ross Barkley dropping from 50/1 to 8/1 does NOT mean he is joining Newcastle United.
Here ends the less on journalists and betting stories.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])