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])



  • Rich Lawson

    He has already turned down £100k a week to sign a new contract and stated he wants a bigger club than Everton (whose recruitment over this window shows real ambition) Apparently we only missed out on Neymar because of the NE weather !!! Get a grip.

  • Leazes Ender

    Most people know how bookies odds are changed, thats why I like transfermarkt as a way of getting a picture of the overall state of the club, they also look at newspaper rumours on transfers and the likelihood of credibility, you can also use Newsnow to trace a rumour back to its first media airing by peeling the layers of the onion away.

    The chronicle has to give us ten stories a day to justify itself, mostly rehashing nostalgia and speculation, bigging-up ‘stars’ and worshiping Rafa as a deity…. personally I only look at the codswallop online and wouldn’t touch a paper with a pair of medical gloves on.

    The window remains open….. and there’s a nasty cold wind blowing in.

    • TheFatController

      You had me at ‘medical gloves’…

  • Lord

    I enjoyed this understatement from a site I won’t bother to promote:

    “Newcastle, though, could fall short of Everton’s asking price for the 23-year-old, which is around £50 million”

    Interesting use of the word “could”

  • Mrkgw

    Under this regime, we will never get to see marquee signings for Newcastle. Those days are gone until those making a hash of things and sapping every bit of life from the club are ousted. Ashley & Charnley out!

    • Jezza

      All too sadly true. The days of marquee signings like Shearer and Ferdinand are long gone. A 22 year old from Norwich for £8 million is the best you’re going to get under Ashley.

      • Mrkgw

        It’s terrible Jezza – but sadly, I see that some of our supporters ‘post 90’s Keegan era’ are in acceptance that it is the norm. Many need a wake up call.

  • TC Toon Army

    Would be a waist of money. Hasn’t been that good. And always injured. Same goes for Wiltshire.

    • HenrySlade

      Seriously?! Given half a chance, I’d have Barkley and Wilshere at our club.
      They have exactly the kind of quality that our mediocre squad is crying out for.

      • TC Toon Army

        When did you last see that quality? Not last year from Barkley and not the last two from wilshire. But by all means would like to see both players back to their best. Wage demands would be too high.

    • paul morgan

      Behave yourself,he’s never injured and he would be head and shoulders your best player if you got him,but you won’t so you’ll be happy then.(everton fan).

  • Paul Busby

    As a player, I like him and have always been a fan. He has seemed unsettled at Everton and looks like a move away would do him good, but to Newcastle?
    Don’t see it, can’t afford him. As much as I hate to admit it, he can do better right now.

  • Paul Patterson

    I’d have him. Sadly we won’t pay anywhere near £50m, nor should we and we won’t pay upwards of £110k+ and nor should we.

    • Mrkgw

      I agree Paul but, sadly that’s football at the moment and in order to compete at the highest level there is little choice but to pay the price, to many an extent. Problem is that the club run the show on a shoestring. Too much so.

      • Paul Patterson

        Yep. Money needs to be spent in two key areas. A creative midfielder and a top striker. Sadly they cost money. I wouldn’t like to throw names around but the Spanish Stoke lad smacks of desperation and he’s no better than what we’ve got.

        • Mrkgw

          Yep, and the bid lodged for him was described of derisory. Has this current ownership written all over it.

  • Steve Pearce

    The only marquee signing we’re going to get is when I write “Steve says Jabba The Hut is a drunken [email protected] on a big tent outside SJP…