With the football season coming to a close, newspapers and websites have already ratcheted up the transfer gossip to
provide fans with false hope to sell papers fill the void.
We at Balls want you to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of transfer stories this summer. Or in this case know your 'BBC Sport understands' from your 'Player Plus Cash Blockbuster'.
These are the tell-tale signs a transfer story is probably bullshit :
1. If there is no source cited in the article.
2. If the deal is 'Player Plus Cash'.
There are rare instances of the player part exchange transfer stories coming true like Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Barcelona and Hernan Crespo to Lazio but these are very much the exceptions rather than the rule.
3. If the words 'war' and 'chest' are used, especially if it involves Arsenal.
4. Transfer story based on player x saying 'he is flattered by the interest' or 'he has always interested in playing a particular league'.
5. When a player is linked with another club during talks over a new contract.
6. Player x 'has been spotted at the airport'.
7. Be wary of gossip mongers on twitter.
English And Scottish Newspaper Gossip Reliability Rankings
The Football Transfer League website did a table showing which newspapers had the best transfer rumours conversion rate with the Guardian coming out on top.
The Metro's shocking 11.2 percent rumour accuracy would imply that Liverpool fans shouldn't be too confident that the club are 'closing in' on Hannover goalkeeper and Bundesliga 'rising star' Ron-Robert Zieler as a replacement for Pepe Reina.
When Its Time To Get Excited
1. BBC Sport understands....
That yellow ticker running across the BBC Sport website has a 99.9 percent transfer gossip conversion rate.
2. When the chief football writer of the newspaper writes a transfer story.
Usually the chief football writer of a paper will leave the transfer tittle tattle to the local beat writers so when they do enter the fray, the story should be taken reasonably seriously.
3. On the record direct quotes from any of the principles.
4. When a club chairman or manager repeatedly says 'we are not selling the player'.
Not a very reliable indicator but this can often be part of the poker game between selling and buying club who are haggling over the price of player.