It’s nearly December, and that means many things. Santa’s coming, people are talking about John Lewis for the first time since last December, and Noddy Holder will be able to pay his gas bill again.
Also, it’s silly season on the transfer rumour front. It’s a time of year I should love – all you have to do is put a clickbait headline (and I love those) out there, and people will rush to see who we might be signing. My most popular articles are always the ‘ten players we could sign’ type, which pains me. I wish people were more interested in our 1993 trip to Port Vale, but they’re not. They (you, maybe) want to know who we might sell or buy, and when ‘news’ like that breaks, you’re all over it like Lurpak on toast. I don’t have to pander to those types of article though, my revenue isn’t through advertising, so I create them based on what I get asked for.
Sadly, less reputable sites than this know the craic, so you get all the usual Twitter accounts popping up with their ‘in the know’ rubbish. Then you get the agents looking to start a frenzy around their players, leaking bits of news to the media to try and get things moving. Sometimes, you even get an actual rumour, but these days they’re few and far between. It’s a silly season because most of what you read is silly, but it isn’t hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.
This year, when these rumours come out, I shall try to deal with them here and give you an idea of which are rubbish or where they’re coming from. I’ve worked for some of the sites I’ll mention today (both, actually), so I feel well-placed to pass some form of a comment. However, I do not know anything solid myself, the club are very tight-lipped these days, so please don’t think by my commenting on anything here it’s happening or not happening.
Anyhow, these are the two players being linked with exits from the club over the past 24 hours.
Football League World are up first with their piece on Regan Poole. They have an exclusive, claiming that Cardiff, QPR, Millwall, Luton Town, Huddersfield Town and Blackpool are all eyeing a move for him. Now, FLW won’t make stories up – they’re monitored closely by News Now and if they make unsubstantiated claims, they would get pulled up on it. Trust me, in the past, I’ve seen where elements of the Snack Media collection of websites have been admonished for certain stories, they’re a tight ship when it comes to their stories.
That only confirms the validity of the site, not of the story. It’s my understanding that many of these stories come from the agent. Think about it; how would any one source know clubs from different ends of the UK are interested in one player? Millwall and Blackpool are unlikely to get together and announce their intentions, are they? No. So, if the story comes from a source unlikely to make stuff up, and it includes multiple clubs, then you have to go further up the chain to find out what it’s all about.
What is interesting is this story doesn’t mention him being out of contract. There’s always been a grey area around whether we have a clause in his deal or not, neither confirmed nor denied. Now, I have heard from another source (likely to be from an agent) that Regan is willing to listen to what we may have to say about a new deal. That is if he is even out of contract at the end of the season, which nobody seems to know for sure!
Essentially, this story was simply to be expected. It’s getting around to the transfer window, he’s doing well, and the agent will want his player talked about; ergo, a story appears. I wouldn’t tell your mates in the pub he’s off to Cardiff just yet.
This one comes from The Real EFL and Lincoln supporting journalist Ryan Whelan. Again, The Real EFL are bound by News Now policies, which means they can’t just make stuff up without a solid source – if they get called out on it, then the site will get pulled from the aggregator, and their monetisation will simply disappear. Over the summer, it was clear that The Real EFL connected with certain agents, which is likely to be where the story comes from again. Remember, Jordan was linked with QPR in the summer, so it isn’t a huge surprise the story is coming back out.
What I would say is Jordan’s contract does appear to be coming to an end; he signed an 18-month deal, so there’s absolute clarity over that. Therefore, a well-placed story from an agent about clubs being interested (note, no actual names) could be used to try to force our hand, as well as alert others to his availability. Remember over the summer, when Radio Lincolnshire broke news that clubs were watching Scully? Those leaks don’t happen by accident. Jordan’s recent heroics in the penalty shoot-out against Morecambe might also help; he’s got a knack for saving penalties, he’s a big lad, and he has played first-team football for us.
Still, the story coming out this early in silly season does suggest we have an eager beaver agent looking to get his asset’s name out there.