I keep a keen eye on News Now for the latest Imps revelations, but one transfer story has been troubling me somewhat.
It is the talk of Jamie Robson signing for us from Dundee United. The chatter has been we’ve prepared a club-record bid for the left-back, and have since been back with other offers, all of which have been rejected. The latest ‘news’ is that we now need to sell a player to fund any move for him. It’s a story that Steve Evans referenced in the run-up to the Gillingham game, where he increased £200,000 to a quarter of a million and used it as a weapon to batter us with a bit.
I have a problem with this story, and that is this. In my opinion, it is not entirely accurate and it is being fed by the desire for clicks, not the facts. It is coming out of the Daily Record, owned by Reach Scotland, and as I understand it, much of their content is driven by clicks. It’s why you tend to see lots of stories about the same event, not just from Reach, but across the likes of The 72 and the site I own (but have no time to do anything with), The Real EFL. They’re driven purely by clicks, so one story can be rehashed several times. It is also why you see speculation about a transfer, loan recalls and the like much more than you see anything else – they get people clicking.
I understand this type of media, and it does rely on keeping a story alive. An authority paper, such as the Daily Record or Lincolnshire Live, should be the ones delivering the facts, which sites then hack up and use for their own purposes. That’s why you won’t see Lincolnshire Live talking about the TJ Eyoma rumours, for instance, because as an authority they deal with quotes and facts. I just don’t think in this instance, the Daily Record have the story as entirely accurate. The wording suggests that we want Jamie Robson, but we can’t afford the fee so we need to shift someone on, for cash, to fund the move. My understanding is this is not true.
In fact, my understanding is interest in Robson is because we might lose a player, and that we don’t want to lose that player and be forced into a move. Obviously, that player is Tayo Edun, linked with moves to the Championship earlier in the month. The suggestion that we need to sell him to fund a move for another left-back is, in my opinion, preposterous. If we are forced to sell Edun, and by that I mean a once-in-a-lifetime fee is offered for one of our top performers, then we might look to spend some of that fee on a new face. I can’t see how we’d be looking to spend £200,000 (£250,000 in Steve Evans currency) on a left-back when we already have two in the squad. It doesn’t make sense. I get a sense there is no desire to move Tayo on this summer, nor a desire from the player to jump ship.
I can understand the Record milking the story, or adding it as a footnote to a bit on Dundee United, but there’s a reason it keeps getting rehashed and regurgitated by some of the other sites, the non-authority sites which trawl the internet for the latest news; Sunderland were also reportedly interested. If you add ‘Sunderland’ to any title, it bumps up a 500-1000 click article to a 5000-10000 click article, depending on how ambiguous you make the headline. That’s why a throwaway, and potentially inaccurate line from the bottom of a Daily Record story suddenly becomes a headline for three or four sites right here. Don’t believe me? The top two stories on News Now for League One, right now, relate to this saga, and Sunderland are in the title of one of them.
If you ask me, the story is not being accurately reported, accidentally, I’m sure. It might have some substance in terms of our interest, but I do not expect us to try to sell a player to fund the move; I expect us to make a move if we have to sell a player. There’s a big difference, is there not?