Sunday, 24 July 2011


ITK and TNK are such awful phrases.

I was stupidly naive when I first signed up to twitter and went with theinsider9 as my aim, kinda like the blog, was to bring news from inside football clubs. Go back to the sources posts on this blog to find out where I get my info (I am sure those sources are similar for many journalists)

I am not, and nobody is, 'In The Know'. We may think we are at times, but we never are 100% ITK. Things can change. I could be told Nasri is signing for City tomorrow morning but then he might have a sudden change of heart. How will I know if he will sign 100%? The only person who know truly what is going on is the player himself. Sometimes, players keep their thoughts and feelings from their agents, so not even their own agents have the full picture sometimes.

Having noticed lots of 'insider' and 'ITK' usernames on Twitter, I quickly realised there was some sort of group whose Twitter niche was to tell tales. Hence the name-change. All these people with 'FOOTBALLAGENTITK' usernames are, without any shred of doubt, 100% not in the know and probably not involved in football at all. My guess is that they're just bored teenagers.

footyagenitk etc etc will send outrageous tweets usually with BIG names and big European clubs in their tweets, as that gets attention and in turn, followers. This summer I have seen United definitely sign Ganso, Ronaldinho, Kaka and Jack Wilshere. City have signed Steven Gerrard, etc etc. It's just all a load of complete nonsense.

There are, obviously, many great sources for news on twitter and some very knowledgeable people. At the top of my head, a few would be

intheknow99 (yes I know it's an ITK name but their news covers lots of clubs in England and it's clear that they are a news source, aggregating news across the country as well as posting their own things they have heard)
Sky's Graeme Bailey and the rest of the SSN lot.
Sid lowe
Graham Hunter
TransferNewsCentre (I think, may have got the name wrong)

If you read their tweets, you will notice a common theme. There's no ridiculous 'Liverpool have signed Gareth Bale' rubbish, but tweets that should be taken as value. Many won't say 'CLUB x have definitely signed 'MAJOR WORLD STAR Y' but will suggest that a deal is possible if x,y, and z happen. Which is fair enough. Many, sadly, take a rumour passed on by someone like:

'Yes, Sneijder to United is possible but it's a question of money...'

As someone saying:

'Yes, Sneijder has signed for Man Utd'

Then they get shouted down, called a bullshitter and asked why Sneijder has not signed for Man Utd. Oddly, these people seem to follow and take the gospel truth from the likes of FOOTYAGENTITK as if they're the oracle or something.

Not many people make money from Twitter. I think Kim Kardashian does - she earns $10,000 from advertisers if  she mentions she's wearing a particular brand of makeup. I don't make money from twitter, I make money from newspapers selling and reading stories. So, yes I shall admit there are quite a few things that I won't post on twitter, because a story about them in the paper will be on the shelves. My aim when I joined twitter was to read news, views etc while also posting my own and adding a few bits of gossip I have heard on the grapevine. And that is how it will remain.

So if you're not making money from tweets, this obviously limits you to what you can and can't say. Obviously, if I was paid to tweet then I'd be able to go into more detail about certain transfers etc.


I was asked to elaborate a bit more on this site a while back - there isn't really too much to say about goal but they are going through a big revamp, backed by a fair bit of investment. The last I heard, they are recruiting journalists (with experience on national papers etc) and paying them a fair old wedge to move to online. I don't believe really but will keep my eye on them as they continue to grow and add to their team. Think of them, again, as an online news aggregator - lots of their stories are just translated from the Italian, Spanish newspapers so we don't have to.


Many newspapers will have EXCLUSIVE on their stories. Sometimes, the story is exclusive. Other times, it really is quite laughable how they can claim it as such. For example, a press conference, attended by every single national newspaper in Great Britain, was handled by The Sun in this way:


And it had exclusive next to the byline. It's just plain cheek but you need to remember the journalist has not done this. They don't control how a story looks on the page, the headline, the picture or anything else around it. More often than not, the accepted 'reason' (term used loosely) for putting exclusive on stories is because it makes the paper seem 'ahead of the game' to their readers. Loyal readers won't read other papers so they will genuinely believe the story is exclusive.

Other times, exclusive is used in good faith as the editor and subeditors genuinely believe their paper is the only one that has the story, when in reality an agent/player has blabbed to more than one journalist.

1 comment:

  1. Quick question - how much control do the reporters have over the headline/byline?

    For example, this story by Graeme Bailey:,,11667_7059026,00.html

    Headline: "Ferguson - No more spending"

    Alex Ferguson did not say this, and there's nothing in the article to suggest he did.

    Byline: "Man United chief rules out signing Scholes replacement"

    Again, Alex Ferguson did not say this, and there's nothing in the article to suggest he did.

    Surely Graeme Bailey's credibility must take a big hit here? 'No more Man Utd signings' is a tasty story, but a) everyone - especially reporters - knows Sir Alex lies about transfers all the time, and b) There are no quotes from that press conference to suggest that United have finished spending.

    Isn't that libel?