PRactice makes perfect
— Express Sport (@DExpress_Sport) January 28, 2020
Well it is his f***ing job.
Fernandes negotiations are a personal triumph for #MUFC
A case of them winning the stand-off
— James Robson (@jamesrobsonES) January 28, 2020
Can you have a ‘personal triumph’ for a whole club? You’re talking about Ed, aren’t you? Did he play a ‘huge role’ by any chance?
That Express tweet was based on quotes from Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol, which really have to be read and re-read to be believed.
“It is great news for Ed Woodward because we’re being told tonight that he’s personally agreed this deal with the Sporting director of football Hugo Viana.”
You are indeed ‘being told’. Everybody was clearly ‘being told’ the same thing. It’s called PR.
“So he is the one who has been driving this deal.”
It really is his job; this cannot be stressed enough.
“A lot of people have been criticising him about the fact that his record apparently in the transfer market has been a bit hit and miss.”
The word ‘apparently’ is doing an awful lot of heavy work in that sentence.
“But this is not just fantastic news for Manchester United supporters and the club, but also for Ed Woodward.”
Kudos to the bods at The Sun website who clearly did not get the memo, despite Neil Custis filing (almost unintelligible) copy that made it clear that Manchester United had officially won:
‘Sporting had been holding out for £68million up front were as United had offered £42.5m plus £8.5m add ons.
‘Today agreed a slight increase to £46.6m down plus £4.2m based on appearances and a further £4.2m if United qualify for the Champions League.’
‘Man Utd finally agree £55m Bruno Fernandes transfer as Woodward caves in over fee after late Barcelona bid’
‘Caves in’? ‘Caves in’? The man is a bloody genius!
We’re not saying that Custis does not have his finger on the Manchester United pulse but just a few hours beforehand he had been writing about the doom and gloom surrounding the club:
‘With the clock now ticking to Friday’s transfer deadline there is no sign of that problem being addressed up front or in midfield where injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay have left them light.
‘The hoped for transfer of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon has collapsed with a stand-off on the player’s valuation.
‘Sporting wanted £68million up front and United decided he was worth £42.5million plus £8.5million in add-ons based on his success at the club.
‘When United co-chairman Joel Glazer looked at the figures and the player he decided it was not value for money.’
Note to The Sun website bods: Simply changing the headline to ‘Man Utd have Fernandes in the bag…but Solskjaer’s Sanchez stance dampens fans’ joy’ is really not enough if you are going to leave the copy exactly the same. Kudos removed.
Note to Custis and friends: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not ‘defiant’ about Alexis Sanchez on Tuesday. Seriously, watch him; the man is amused. He literally has no choice but to make this work.
Which side are you on?
We wonder which newspaper employed new Edward Woodward PR man Neil Ashton until recent weeks…
Is it The Daily Mirror, whose back page trumpets that ‘UNITED AGREE MASSIVE £67M TOTAL FEE FOR FERNANDES’?
Or The Sun, whose back page heralds the news that United ‘seal £55m deal despite Barca hijack bid’?
So, so hard.
MASSIVE, you say? The Mirror really did not get the memo. But Samuel Luckhurst of the MEN certainly did as he tells us ‘Why Manchester United have changed their mind on Bruno Fernandes transfer’. The easy answer seems to be ‘because they got desperate’ but that is definitely not the official line. Oh no.
He begins by telling us actually the price is really very low. He even uses the word ‘insignificant’. Yes, £46.6m is now ‘insignificant’. The sixth biggest fee ever paid by a Premier League club in January is ‘insignificant for a mid-season addition’.
And he comes out on top when assessed on the universal Longstaff Scale: ‘He is a more exotic addition than Sean Longstaff and, remarkably, cheaper; Newcastle demanded £50m for a 22-year-old with nine Premier League games to his name in July.’
When you put it like that, he has basically cost pennies.
Gonna stand my ground
Elsewhere on the back page of The Sun: ‘JURGEN KLOPP is refusing to back down over his FA Cup boycott – despite a warning from rival Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.’
Jesus. If that won’t make him back down, then really nothing will…
The fact that this story still exists on the Mirror website – ‘Mystery man arrives at Man Utd base as fans speculate it’s transfer target Sander Berge’ – 24 hours after it was proved to be bollocks, does not shock us in the slightest. And that is sad.
And as for ‘fans’…
FINALLY, it’s happened to me…
‘Arsenal FINALLY agree to sign Pablo Mari on six-month loan with view to a permanent deal after embarrassing episode which saw Flamengo centre back fly back to Brazil after jetting to London with Gunners director Edu’ is the (ridiculously long) headline on MailOnline.
How embarrassing for silly, silly Arsenal.
Oh wait, it’s not Arsenal’s fault at all, as ‘the former Manchester City defender had flown to London last Saturday with Edu, Arsenal’s technical director, and had his medical only for Flamengo to change their demands on the amount of money that was paid up front’. Not quite the impression we got from that headline…
We’re now assuming parody…
I promise neither New Balance nor Virgil van Dijk paid me to write this. I just really, really like the picture.https://t.co/RhcRShInEK
— Kristian Walsh (@Kristian_Walsh) January 28, 2020