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City Blogger: Don't believe the (media) hype

  • 23 January 2014 13:42
  • Posted by @BlueWolf1894

The latest blog from the inimitable @BlueWolf1894 takes a look at football journalism...

Ah, the football press. Those men and women whose job it is to sort out the fact from the fiction and present it to us in a user-friendly format, so that we may learn more about the comings and goings of events at Manchester City.

But enough about how things should be, let’s discuss how things actually are.

Player A suggests that he would like to feature more; it’s a simple enough statement and one that is often said and is easily understood by one and all. However, not the press. What Player A actually meant is that he is “angry” “confused” “has drawn a line in the sand” and is “demanding he plays or he’s off to pastures anew”. Splendid stuff.

People often ask when so-called journalism declined to such an extent that the guy at the end of the bar could provide you with better more informative news. The truth is, sadly, it’s always been pretty shoddy.

Before that infamous date of 16th April 1894 when Manchester City rose from the ashes of Ardwick FC, journalists had a nasty habit of not having a clue what we were called. “Gorton” when we weren’t, “St. Mary’s” after we’d already changed our name, “Ardwick” when we were Gorton AFC, etc, etc, and would do this literally on a day-to-day basis. It was a scatter-gun approach meaning that eventually they’d get it right, much like it is today.

“Ah, but,” declare the media, “just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean we aren’t right.”

Well, yes, that’s true, We can give the chaps and chappesses that. But what is also true is that during the Summer Transfer Window of 2013, the media linked us with no less than forty-three players who didn’t come to our club. Forty-three. There were also twelve players who were said by the media to be leaving our club; bet you can’t guess if they got that one right? You can ask me on Twitter for a list if you like.

Once again, scratter-gun approach to reporting, or if one was to put it bluntly, fling enough manure at a barn and eventually some of it will stick, whereupon said flinger can rejoice at the odd dirty smelly patch whilst ignoring the huge pile of excrement that missed and now resembles a rather large malodorous hill.

We all like our club to be seen in a good light, all fans of all clubs do (sorry Manchester United fans, you’ll have to wait a bit longer), but good news is deemed not to be real news, sadly. Recall three-and-a-half years ago when Manchester City built a rooftop pitch in New York’s Spanish Harlem for the local kids? You don’t? Or had you forgotten? That’s probably because bar the club’s OS mentioning it, it got very little coverage elsewhere. How about the numerous things City in the Community have done? Chances are that unless you were directly involved or affected it’s likely you’ll struggle to name half-a-dozen things that’s been done.

What you do probably recall more readily are stories about such-and-such a player accused of doing XY and Z, because it was possibly a tad naughty, or at the very least, in the eyes of the ‘journalist’, it was unbecoming. All this is after possibly completing a four-year’s Bachelor’s Degree.

To be fair though, some journalists do come under for some undue criticism, with accusations of bias to one club or another. Mike Keegan, of the Manchester Evening News, got so fed up of being accused of being a Red or a Blue, that he had to put on his Twitter profile that he is in fact an Oldham Athletic fan.

So where does all this leave us? We have to get our news from somewhere, and (most of) the supposed ITK’s are usually just as clueless as the press are. But how about ourselves? How about we use some … dare I say, logic? In this day-and-age of FFP and home grown quotas, some things are easy to deduce. If a club has eight home-grown players, in a squad of twenty-five, and one is reported to be leaving, it’s doubtful unless he is immediately replaced, as eight is the minimum. It’s not rocket science.

By all means continue to peruse the pages of ‘news’papers, but please mind the manure when you do so.

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