How much? We’re pretending that Chelsea are about to spend over £340m because it’s a really, really big number and big numbers are great.
‘FRENKIE DE JONG is travelling to London ahead of a potential move to Chelsea,’ begins the story on The Sun website from ‘Tony Robertson’, who may or may not exist. Nobody called Tony works for a website, do they? Everybody is called Jack or Jason or Joe.
Now if we assume that Tony does indeed exist, we absolutely know that Tony absolutely knows that De Jong is not joining Chelsea. We know this because he admits as much further down the piece, but crucially not in a headline that reads ‘Man Utd and Chelsea transfer target Frenkie de Jong spotted at airport ‘flying to London’ amid Barcelona exit talk’.
But first we have to pretend that ‘now after appearing on the bench for the second time this season De Jong appears to be set to seal a transfer to the Premier League’. Except he doesn’t. And it’s quite crucial that he did not just ‘appear on the bench’ but came off it after about an hour. He’s clearly not going anywhere.
And then we reach the ninth paragraph:
‘However, despite the transfer interest of these clubs De Jong’s movements are reportedly not transfer related.’
You don’t f***ing say.
Don’t know much about mathematics
The consensus seems to be that Manchester United will have done spending once Antony is through the door. And the consensus is that Manchester United’s spending will have crossed the £200m mark when that deal is completed.
But that number is not big enough for the Daily Mirror‘s Jeremy Cross (a Leeds fan), who claims that ‘Antony is expected to complete his £85m move to Manchester United in the next 48 hours to take Erik ten Hag’s summer spending over the £225m mark’ (since when is that a ‘mark’?)
Cross does not do the maths and there’s a reason he does not do the maths: The numbers don’t add up.
The Mirror’s own figures – taken from elsewhere – say that Manchester United have signed Casemiro for an initial £60m, Lisandro Martinez for an initial £46.8m and Tyrell Malacia for £15.7m. That equals £122.5m. Add the £85m for Antony and you get £207.5m. Which is not ‘over the £225m mark’.
It might seem pedantic but this is how nonsense permeates and nonsense sticks.
The back page of the Daily Star also features the hard-working Cross, who embarks on the kind of logic usually only seen from yer da.
‘Tightening the purse strings, struggling to pay your energy bills, wondering how you will cope with an 18 per cent inflation rate?
‘As Britain faced up to a cost of living crisis our Premier League giants were embarking on another almighty spending spree.’
Indeed. And the two things are entirely unconnected. What multi-billion-pound businesses do with their money has absolutely no relation to our fuel bills. None at all.
Though we had to laugh at Cross’s claim that Wesley Fofana’s arrival ‘will take Thomas Tuchel’s spending over the £200m mark’. No Jeremy, it will take his spending over the £225m mark. Which is apparently only a ‘mark’ if you are writing about Manchester United.
Those numbers are not big enough for MailOnline, who love a REALLY BIG NUMBER almost as much as they love CAPITALS.
‘How CAN Chelsea afford all these new signings? Wesley Fofana, Anthony Gordon and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would take Thomas Tuchel’s summer spree to a record £340MILLION… but the Blues are confident they are not breaking any FFP rules’
£340MILLION sounds like an awful lot. How CAN they afford those new signings? Well, they have a very, very rich new owner and FFP basically starts from zero under his ownership, but carry on; we’re mostly intrigued how the f*** you got to that number.
Adrian Kajumba’s piece starts thus:
‘As Chelsea’s summer spending continues, some of their rivals will be watching on with envy as they flex their financial muscles.
‘The imminent arrival of Wesley Fofana from Leicester for approximately £70million will take the total for this window to a staggering £250m – and counting.’
Well according to the Mail’s own figures from previous reports, it takes the total to a ‘staggering £243m’ but what’s £7m between friends? We’re more intrigued by this £340m figure.
‘With head coach Thomas Tuchel confirming ‘we could need some more players in some positions’ and Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Everton’s Anthony Gordon among those they have targeted, the final total could end up passing £300m.’
It really could.
But what about £340m? Well, Kajumba never mentions that massively inflated figure in his piece so we can only presume that a sub got a little bit giddy and decided that Chelsea would spend almost £100m on Gordon and Aubameyang.
SPOILER: They won’t. And not just because the Mail told us literally hours before that signing both was ‘unlikely’.
Can you feel the force?
There will never be a time when Mediawatch is not amused by the fact that last July, a Sun showbiz reporter claimed that Daniel Levy had ‘caved‘ and that ‘ENGLAND skipper (Harry Kane) is poised for a £160million move after Spurs chairman Daniel Levy agreed to let him join an English rival’ and that all the newspaper’s football reporters had to pretend this was true regardless of their own contacts.
Now The Sun’s back page tells us that Kane could sign a new deal at Tottenham after he ‘tried to force his way out of the club and secure a move to Manchester City 12 months ago’. He ‘tried to force his way out’ and you tried your damnedest to help him, fellas.