Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


How To Spot Transfer News Bulls*** In Five Easy Steps

The Internet: isn’t it marvelous? With the click of a mouse or a swipe of your finger you can access a universe of information on topics as broad or esoteric as your proclivities dictate. Want to know how to make Napalm out of orange juice? Google it. Curious as to whether you can milk a cat? Google it. Keen to watch 2 Girls, 1 Cup? Google it, but ask yourself some pretty searching moral questions first.

The power of the internet and how we access its myriad nooks and crannies has, however, led to the creation of an entire industry of bullshit production that can be neatly summed up as Transfer Click Bait. Because while you, dear reader, are enlightened enough to make The18 your first port of call for everything football, millions upon millions of helpless souls just use Google or Yahoo to find out the latest transfer “news” concerning their favorite club.

How we now consume and seek out information means that, in the majority of instances at least, transfer news is no longer driven by journalism or reporting or the cultivation of sources, but by a simple question: how can I get as many people onto my webpage as is humanly possible? The answer, of course, is to link the biggest names with the biggest clubs over and over and over again.

Consider Manchester United’s recent acquisition of Matteo Darmian from Torino. This is a transfer that has actually happened, likely involving months of scouting, planning and negotiations, and yet the first we read of it was shortly before the I’s were dotted and the T’s crossed.

Juxtapose that against the endless outpouring of detritus you’ll find about Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford, a move about as likely to happen as a politician passing a polygraph. Why do we hear so much about the Portuguese but heard so little about the real deal? Because “Matteo Darmian” was searched about 40 thousand times last month, while 6.1 million people typed “Cristiano Ronaldo” into Google.

When you accept and appreciate the new paradigm of online journalism in its basest form, it suddenly becomes much easier to separate the wheat from the crap. So, as we head deeper into the transfer window, The18 presents you with our Five Golden Rules of Transfer News BS. Heed these guidelines and you’ll find yourself more fulfilled, less confused and more attractive to the opposite sex:

  1. 99% of transfer stories with headlines containing the name Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi are pre-fabricated nonsense. DO NOT CLICK.
  2. Any headline that links two or more top-tier club (and typically it’ll be United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, etc) to a single player is nothing but a fishing exercise. IGNORE.
  3. Any transfer story that appears on the Metro website should be treated as a work of fiction aimed at preschoolers. 
  4. If the headline starts with “Manchester United target”, you know it’s not actually a transfer story, but just a tenuous link to get the words Manchester United (Real Madrid, Arsenal, etc work just as well) alongside a high-profile player who, maybe, has just bought a new car. Or stubbed his toe. Or, whatever.
  5. Swap deals. They never, ever, happen. But, from a website’s perspective they present an excellent opportunity to shoehorn two big names into the permalink. The cheeky scamps.

Print them up, pin them on your fridge and repeat quietly to yourself every morning before opening your laptop. You’ll thank us come September 1st.

Videos you might like