When the summer transfer window boots up, editors of newspapers and their online versions rub their hands in glee, as it becomes open season on baiting football supporters into clicks to boost advertising revenue. The media either preys on supporter expectation (buying new players) or their fear (losing their team’s top players).

Newspapers will seemingly go to any lengths to trick supporters into clicking their links. The lowest form of such practise is when innocent and innocuous stories are given scandalised or amped up headlines. This week, the Birmingham Mail reached an all-time new low…

 

Mat Kendrick – Birmingham Mail

Headline:

Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph has NOT jetted out with squad for Portugal training trip

Speil:

Captain Fabian Delph has not travelled out with the Aston Villa squad for their pre season training camp in Portugal.

Tim Sherwood’s men jetted off without the skipper from Birmingham airport this morning for their warm weather getaway in the Algarve.

But Delph’s absence is believed to be because his wife Natalie is expecting their second child, rather than having anything to do with ongoing speculation linking him with a move to Manchester City. The couple already have a young daughter, Sofia.

Evaluation:

1. The headline is like using a huge juicy tuna as bait to catch an angry shark. The capitalisation of the word ‘NOT’ is embarrassing and indicates the exact intention of the newspaper with the article.

2. The truth of the matter, as they state at the end of the news report is that Delph is expecting to be a father again.

3. It’s a sorry and lowly practise and the newspaper should concentrate on the actual news aspect, rather than the sensationalism to gain readers/ad clicks. They have a duty to their local community in Birmingham and shouldn’t be abusing that.

4. it’s normally the editors/subs that provide the headlines at newspapers so we’ll excuse the writer in question, Mat Kendrick from shamelessly creating headline click-bait that feeds on Villa fans’ fear of their captain departing despite his loyalty rally call last season.

5. Delph returned to pre season training with the rest of the squad on Monday, passing up the chance to take extra time off after being on international duty. it seems he decided to return early to make up for missing the trip to Portugal due to the pending birth of his child. Of course, he could potentially join the Villa party in Portugal at a later date.

Media Muppet Rating: 8/10

UPDATE: Well, well, it looks like they were simply warning us all. Silly us for believing all of Delph’s lies in January

NEIL FISSLER – Daily Express (July 6th)

Headline:

Exclusive: Liverpool will sign £32.5m Arsenal and Spurs target Christian Benteke this week

Spiel:

BRENDAN RODGERS will this week match the £32.5million buy-out clause in Christian Benteke’s Aston Villa contract to continue his summer spending spree.

Etc, etc, etc.

And then they have the nerve to print this mock-up Christian Benteke Liverpool shirt photo:

 

benteke liverpool mock
From the Daily Express

 

Evaluation:

1. We’re almost at the end of ‘this week’ and Benteke seems to be in Portugal training with Aston Villa and not wearing a Liverpool shirt for the photographers. Another transfer ‘exclusive’ bites the dust?

2. This is a desperate ploy to be the first with the story, with the paper guessing the player will sign in the week. We’re surprised they didn’t cover themselves with the headline ‘Brendan Rodgers will this month match the £32.5million buy-out clause.

3. Most of these stories go on the premise that by the next day, everyone forgets what they’ve made up…

4. A picture of Benteke in a Liverpool shirt…stop behaving like you’re a teenage Liverpool supporter running a blog!

5. Yes, he’ll eventually go there, but this is all a bit premature.

Media Muppet Rating: 9/10

If you’ve spotted an article that is just lazy journalism or worse, and perfect for Media Muppets then leave the link in the comments below, DM us on facebook or send it to us via twitter @oldmansaid

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Well at least you never gave it a 10/10 !
    I guess it’s easy in hindsight but nothing surprises me these days, players come into the club and in some cases into our hearts, then like a thief in the night f*** off never to be seen again.
    Unfortunately this scenario seems to happen to our club more often than than I would like, and is a constant reminder to how we have dropped down the Hierarchy of those clubs outside the top four that still have the kudos of being called a ‘big club’
    I liked Delph but if he does go then I can’t wish him well, after ‘that’ video message, dear me! I remember the welcome we gave Gareth Barry when he came back th VP for the first time after leaving, he was visibly shocked, had an absolute mare of a game, and to top it all off we won!
    I can only look forward to some of the same should all this materialise.
    VTID (unlike Delph)

    • Nowadays it looks like you have to take into account players lying and clubs pulling the wool over supporters eyes. Football has turned into a nasty soulless business. It’s about time supporters stood up to it.

  2. Even more annoying are the ‘journo-sheep’ who rebleet the same c**p for days or even weeks, each trying to outdo each other with sensational (unfounded) headlines!!

    • Yep, the amount of stories that are simply recycled is astonishing and not many journalists apply much independent research or thought to their reporting.

  3. One good thing at this time of the year is that you get to know the sites that are rubbish and worth skipping like HITC, Express’s, Star, Mirror, Ladbrokes and TalkSport.

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