Mediawatch: Man Utd, Ronaldo and a ‘matter of trust’

Date published: Monday 17th June 2019 12:10

Ronaldo, Manchester United and trust
Remember back in 2017 when the Manchester Evening News pledged to be different, to eschew clickbait and fake news in favour of real football reporting? How very principled. How very admirable. How very dated.

Their pledge included this key paragraph:

‘We know what fans want because we are them ourselves. But we also know that fans want facts – no matter how much we’d all want to believe that Ronaldo is about to sign for our club. That’s what sets us apart from those organisations who just want your click. We want your trust.’

Mediawatch chooses this fine Monday to remember that pledge, after a Sunday on the ‘authentic’ Manchester Evening News which featured this headline:

‘Why Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest Instagram post got Manchester United fans talking’

It’s a ‘matter of trust’, apparently.


The price is wrong
‘Philippe Coutinho’s new transfer value revealed after poor season’ is quite the tempting headline on the Daily Mirror website. And we really do love a ‘reveal’.

Let’s read on…

‘Philippe Coutinho’s disappointing performances for Barcelona have seen his transfer value drop – and that could alert the attention of potential suitors.’

So what is this ‘transfer value’? And how did you get this key information from Barcelona, Mr Matt Maltby of the Daily Mirror website?

‘Coutinho endured a difficult season with the Catalan giants, even seeing some of his performances booed by Barca’s support, and has largely struggled to live up to the hype following his big-money switch.’

Yep, yep, yep, so how much do they want?

‘The Brazilian arrived at the Nou Camp from Liverpool in January last year in a deal which could reach £142million if various clauses are met.’

Yes, we know all this. How much do they want? Where is the ‘reveal’?

‘Manchester United are keeping tabs on his situation at the Nou Camp while French giants Paris Saint-Germain are also keen on securing his services.’

This is all just noise now. So how much do Barcelona want? What is his ‘transfer value’?

‘The European duo could now step up their pursuit following a report in Spain that has claimed he is now valued at £80m after a disappointing campaign.’

Ah, we have a number. And now we know why the ‘reveal’ was hidden; it’s not the Mirror’s number to ‘reveal’. But fair enough, that’s journalism in 2019; you report what other newspapers say.

‘Spanish daily Marca has reported that the former Anfield favourite is one of 13 players whose valuation has decreased after Barca finished the season on a sour note.’

That feels very specific. We will have to go to Marca to find out the transfer values placed on all their players by Barcelona. Are they all for sale?

Or have they – and this is an important question to which we suspect you already know the answer – just made a space-filling feature out of the club’s new ‘transfer values’ according to transfermarkt?

That’ll be the latter, then. In which case, sod Coutinho, let’s talk about the best player in the world having a ‘transfer value’ of £133m. We’re ‘revealing’ the shit out of that.


Pogba: A developing story
‘PAUL POGBA opened the door to Real Madrid and told Zinedine Zidane: I’m all yours’  – back page of The Sun.

No he didn’t.

‘REAL MADRID could offer Gareth Bale or Isco in exchange for Paul Pogba’ – The Sun online, 08.13.

Well they could.


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Judge and jury
‘Manchester United’s mystery man: Matt Judge is the club’s de facto chief negotiator and Ed Woodward’s trusted right-hand man… but deliberately keeps a VERY low profile as he deals with world football’s biggest names’ is the biggest thing in football according to MailOnline on Monday morning.

‘Search for Matt Judge on the internet and just one – unconfirmed – photo exists’ is one of the bullet points.

‘Search for Matt Judge on the internet and just one – unconfirmed – photograph exists of a tall, balding man walking behind Woodward in club suit and tie (above)’ is the caption on said photo.

‘Search for Matt Judge on the internet and just one – unconfirmed – photograph exists of a tall, balding man walking behind Woodward in club suit and tie. There is no picture on his LinkedIn page’ writes Chris Wheeler.

Well Mediawatch did search for Matt Judge on the internet and it took us about seven seconds to find this picture.

He might keep a VERY low profile but Wheeler would make a VERY shit detective.


Can you hear the guff, Fernandes?
Now back to the Manchester Evening News and their big story on Monday morning:


So what’s this Bruno Fernandes news?

‘Liverpool have moved ahead of United in the race to sign Bruno Fernandes, according to reports.’

Would you almost say they were ‘best placed’?

Still, why let actual news updates get in the way when all of the clicks come from convincing Manchester United fans that there might actually be some good news.

It’s a ‘matter of trust’.


Kaunce party
To the Daily Star for an update on that story…

‘Liverpool have kaunced a £40m bid for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes.’

They’ve done what?


A Pog’s dinner
Over at the Daily Telegraph, Jason Burt quite bizarrely writes that ‘Manchester United should put Paul Pogba up for sale. They should show their strength. They should transfer list their most expensive player – and he should agree to forego any loyalty payments or bonuses he is due by putting in a transfer request. He owes that to them. It is time for a clean break.’

He then admits that transfer-listing Pogba will mean they ‘may have to accept less for Pogba’. Which makes it sound like a terrible idea, because it means Pogba gets what he wants but Manchester United get neither the player nor the value of the player. It doesn’t sound like a brilliant move.

‘They are in a strong bargaining position. They will argue that they weaken that by transfer-listing him…’

Yep. And they would be right.

‘…but if they did that they would be strengthening themselves.’

By selling a player for less than he is worth? This will take some explaining…

‘They would be showing the club is bigger than one player; that all this negative noise and chatter has to stop; that they can cut through that by backing the manager and the squad. They may have to accept less for Pogba than they want but the benefits would outweigh the negative especially if it is done quickly. Get him out.’

That’ll show him. Make that want-away footballer go away. Send him on his way to the place where he wants to go.

Oh and good luck persuading a man already on the transfer list to put in a transfer request.

Still, Burt managed to stretch this nonsense out over 1,000 words, so he is definitely worth all of the money The Athletic is offering all of the journalists.


Something fishy
What happens when Phil Foden tells The Sun‘s comedy Cockney Paul Jiggins that he likes fishing?

Headline: ‘Filet Foden’

Sub-headline: ‘Phil’s a big fish in England pool.’

Opening line: ‘PHIL FODEN knows all about big fish in small ponds.’

It stinks. And not just because Phil Foden is very clearly a small fish in a big pond at Manchester City.


Recommended reading of the day
James Masters on Avram Grant, Chelsea and anti-semitism

Rory Smith on the Chile goalkeeper


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