by Kieran Mather

“Have you heard who’ve we’ve signed mate?”


“Well that’s what I heard on….”

As much as I like to use social media, Twitter in particular, my first transfer window using the platform has become a source of major annoyance. Accounts set up dedicated to delivering rumours and transfer news are about as accurate as weathermen (I’m looking at you Mr Fish you blithering idiot,) or a psychic reading by Russell Grant.

If I took note of every “transfer” concerning Sheffield United so far (oh I have don’t worry) we have signed two players on frees, sold three to Sheffield Wednesday and one apiece to Ipswich, Derby and Reading. In fact our chairman Kevin McCabe should be commended for raising funds by selling the same player to three different clubs.

Now I don’t want to discredit anybody who has set up an account on social networks to provide these lies but only pure facts should be posted. The hunger for this kind of news at this time of the year (due to lack of football) is extremely high but if Carlos Tevez went to see the Bootleg Beatles he would be instantly linked with a move to Liverpool (and would therefore play for England before Rio Ferdinand would.) This is how eager people are to report on “transfers” and the idea is they post it before anybody else to receive virtual kudos.

It’s frustrating because you have to work out who is a credible source and who isn’t. And then put up with 800 non stories in between, when a club is merely “interested in”. Why that can occupy a back page I’ll never know. When I was younger, I used to go with my dad to the first game in August and look out over the pitch pointing at a newbie asking who he was. With such saturation of the subject of transfers there is little chance of that occurring today –  we even have a little clock in the corner of our Sky Sports pages counting down to the transfer deadline, a clock I urge to tick ever faster every day.

The Sheffield Star in my opinion would be better off pulling the sport pages for the closed season and work on a few features come August rather than consistently report that Sheffield United still haven’t signed Dave Kitson, printing the next day we could if we wanted, then again the following day that they’ve hit a snag.

They could also do well without printing inaccuracies about signing Wycombe’s Mark Beavon and claiming Sheffield Wednesday have signed every one of Sheffield United’s players too. Meanwhile Barnsley’s capture of Kevin Etuhu wasn’t picked up at all, neither was Doncaster’s signing of David Cotterill or Robbie Blake.

A “follower” of mine on twitter proved how eager people are for the slightest bit of transfer news with a simple tweet reading “I can’t wait for our new signing to be revealed.” It received over 50 replies all questioning who it was, where from, how much etc. A bit cruel really, but he kept them on his hook answering questions with “I’ve been asked not to say by the club” and “We will be unveiling him before the first game.” Nobody saw through his mischief because we’re so used to having transfer news containing no actual substance to them.

Then there was the David Moyes situation at Everton recently where Talksport journalist Ian Abrams reported through social media “It is my understanding Spurs may have already met with David Moyes today and that his compensation has been agreed with Everton FC” Which was met by Paul Tyrell the relatively new Director of Communications response of “This is an absolute lie Ian. I expected better from you. If you repeat it, you can expect legal action from EFC.”

A swift move that was welcomed by fans as it quashed the rumour and something more clubs should do. Obviously such rumours and talk can’t be prevented in person or from starting up but moving to stifle them would eventually mean the clubs concerned could be the first to publicize new signings which is how it should be. We live in a time where the club’s official website is the last place people go for such news and the local paper is regarded as trustworthy. We all know people who “know people” within our clubs, but what do they actually know? Nothing.

I know people who used to consistently remind me they knew Kyle Walker’s dad back in school believing they were oracles of Sheffield United knowledge. These were the very same people who at first denied his transfer had happened, then provided me with the details of his Tottenham contract (which to this day I refuse to believe) saying they knew of this transfer six months previous? All because people want to be the first to know things, to be able to go “I told you so” to other fans.

Fact is, throughout the transfer window, there are all too few facts available and they are often drowned out by fabrications. Which is a shame because a little honesty goes a long way.