When it comes to transfer windows, there is one old clickbait trick that always rears its head. The rehashing of stories from the previous transfer window. It’s as if hacks have a ‘Last Transfer Window’ draw in their desk to delve into to get material to trot out again.

If a headline/topic proved popular previously, it’s worth one last squeeze to get a bit more ad revenue out of it.

Nowadays, headlines seem to be king, while the actual story is of secondary importance. In fact, some stories are simply padding to justify the headline bait to get you to the site.

Need an example? Here’s a recent one from the Daily Express, that tried to use Villa signing Croatian goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic as a trigger to write some tosh about Jack Grealish joining Spurs in this January window.

Kalinic In, Grealish Out

Who?

Jack Wilson – Daily Express

Headline

Does Aston Villa ‘done deal’ hint Jack Grealish will join Spurs?

Spiel

ASTON VILLA could sell Jack Grealish to Tottenham to alleviate their Financial Fair Play worries, claims Dharmesh Sheth.

Villa today closed in on a move to sign Croatia goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic for £5.2million.

Speaking before the signing was done, Sheth told the Transfer Talk podcast that he believed Grealish would not join Tottenham in January.

However, the Sky Sports man admitted that could change with Villa having FFP issues over their head – a situation which is now even more prevalent given Kalinic’s arrival.

Villa could be docked 12 Championship points next season after posting an aggregate loss of £37.1m during their two seasons in the second tier.

[Explains FFP rules]

The signing of Kalinic is likely to put further pressure on the club’s money men to get the figures to add up.

[Blah about Grealish]

“I can’t see Villa selling him in January particularly with them going for promotion back to the Premier League.”

Evaluation

  1. Just another example of a story seemingly created to fit a headline to get clicks.
  2. So… Villa would sign a player they couldn’t afford, so they would have to sell Jack Grealish – the cornerstone to their team and who they recently gave a new contract to? Hmmm, ok.
  3. Let me break it down for you – the Kalinic done deal does NOT hint at Grealish going anywhere.
  4. So the Sky Sports chap actually said “I can’t see Villa selling him in January”, yet the Express still ran a story making out the Sky Sport reporter had said they could do?
  5. People are actually getting paid for writing this tosh?
  6. After last year’s mini-saga, if ‘Grealish to Spurs’ was going to happen, it would have happened then. However, if Villa fail to get promotion this season, feel free to rehash the story next summer when it may have some legs. Also, you can maybe preempt it and even throw in a ‘Jack Grealish hands in transfer request’ story too.

Media Muppet Rating: 9/10

Writing to justify a headline.

Xia Message

tony xia tweets aston villa

If you think the above Grealish article is desperate in terms of creating a headline to bait readers to a website, check out this attempt by the Birmingham Mail [Live]…

Who?

Steve Woolston – Birmingham Mail (Live)

Headline

Tony Xia breaks his silence with this message for Aston Villa fans

Spiel

This is what the Chinese businessman has had to say to Aston Villa fans

Aston Villa co-owner Dr Tony Xia has broken his Twitter silence to wish his followers a Happy New Year.

The Chinese businessman has taken somewhat of a back seat in recent months after Villa’s failure to get promoted led to financial problems for the club.

[Then a blah, blah, blah back story of the new owners coming in and Xia losing majority control]

Evaluation

  1. ‘Tony Xia breaks his silence with this message for Aston Villa fans’ – big headline, I wonder what his message could be on New Years day? Hmmm.
  

2. This. Does. Not. Warrant. A. Story.

3. Again, inane padding out of a story to try and justify a headline to a story that should have never have been written.

4. Most people on Twitter wished people a Happy New Year.

Media Muppet Rating: 10/10

A total waste of time.

Half-time Announcements

Speaking of a waste of time…over to the Daily Express again…

Who?

Jack Wilson (again) – Daily Express

Headline

Aston Villa will make transfer announcement TODAY about Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham

Spiel

ASTON VILLA will make an announcement on the future of Tammy Abraham today.

According to BT Sport reporter Chris Ford, Villa will confirm to fans at half-time of their FA Cup clash with Swansea.

And it’s expected to be bad news as they are poised to confirm Abraham is leaving the club.

We don’t need to go on…

Evalution

  1. This story made me laugh when I read it. How ludicrous to even think that Aston Villa (or any club) would announce at half-time of a game, with 30,000+ fans present, that one of your top players was off. What a great way to troll the faithful at Villa Park and spoil their afternoon. What kind of mood would they be in for the second-half?!
  2. This announcement was never going to happen. Plus, it didn’t happen at full-time either – ‘Sorry for the c**p result, here’s some more bad news to mess with your weekend..’ It seems BT Sport were getting a little too excited and ahead of themselves.
  3. Does Jack Wilson of the Daily Express actually exist? If so, does he actually spend five seconds thinking about what he is writing? Or is the name Jack Wilson just a pseudonym for a clickbait bot that just randomly puts headlines and stories together, through algorithms created to generate traffic to the site (pretty much what is happening anyway, but with the use of human bots).
  4. Did Villa fans actually believe Villa were going to make an announcement at half-time?

Media Muppet Rating: 7/10

It’s a 10/10 for wasting everyone’s time, but at least it was amusing in its dumbness.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Look ffp and no promotion will mean to avoid points deduction next year we will have to raise funds. Selling bodymoor heath to HS2 may be a part option. But Grealish will go I fear if we fail to go up which is looking very unlikely. However, Spurs were obviously not interested or could not afford him or they would have signed him. From what I read they offered £3 plus onomah who was useless and can’t get into Sheffield Wednesday struglling side . A free for him would be about right personally I’d pay to keep him away. So only spurs came in with a 3m offer they cannot afford him due to stadium issues. Unless they sell Erickson that might change things. Erickson tells you why villa are where they are. Spurs have valued him at 225m this morning , against 3m for Grealish. Erickson is on £70,000 a week. That’s what we gave striker Gabby 5 years ago after scoring 6 goals a season over his previous contract. He went on to reduce that average and not play. Previous chief execs sanctioned many other similar deals McCormMcCormack, Lescott, Sinclair Richards etc. More recently Of Bruce’s signings only McGinn, and for Smith Connor actually play. So the other dozen were brought in on higher wages than they were on and are impossible to move on. I hope the signing of a 4th keeper plus recall of another is not the new regimes continuation of these disasterous policies. Along with another loan signing to make us suffer while he learns then increase their value to parent club while our own talented youngsters (villa 5 man United 1) don’t get a look in and we continue to pick players from our insanely huge squad who are just happy to pick up the mobey not play. Be warned.

  2. Totaly agree about the wages but have to say not turning up for training looks ominous, but if he wants to go as a loan player we have to accept it, there is a lesson to be learned no more loans but having said that I see we are still talking about loan players today, I would say without doubt Maupay is the best striker in the leauge and easily as good as Abraham possible more aggressive but that’s not such a bad thing, but I can’t see how we can afford to go for him because the journos alleged valuation of £4.5 m is way off the mark and it wouldn’t surprise me if Brentford Put £15 to £20 m up as his figure. So even with a P/X deal we wouldn’t be anywhere near, our owners could easily afford to buy him at any price but unless they have something up their sleeve it looks like FFP will scupper our chances. This is now down to Dean Smith and our owners but personally if we don’t replace Abraham I think it’s the end of our promotion hopes.

    • Yep, the main thing about this Abraham situation is the permutations on our play-off hopes. I’m not convinced by Kodjia or Hogan leading our charge.

  3. Love these posts.

    Though i have to say, its too easy these days, too man clickbait articles to chose from.

    • I stopped doing these articles because I was overwhelmed by the fact almost 80% of football coverage was clickbait rubbish. It was like a dam breaking and there was too much to cover. Time to bring the column back though to have some accountability!

  4. It’s also hilarious that the media are saying Tammy is going to Wolves because they are offering to treble his wages………even though Chelsea said he’s not for sale and you can’t treble a loan players wage………idiots!!

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