“Will you be tweeting transfer rumours?” I was asked by a fellow Rovers fan via Twitter at the start of the month. Given that my only prior venture into transfer-related rumour-mongering had me offering deadline day tweets along the lines of “Rovers have finally netted a new striker. Sergei Rebrov spotted in Wickes on Leger Way looking at paint samples,” it wasn’t a question I expected to face. However, you don’t earn high website praise like “it actually looks like someone has made an effort” without giving the people what they want and so today I am happy to launch the Viva Rovers Transfer Rum-o-meter.
I hate the summer, not because of the lack of football available in the close season, but because of the desperation at which others try to fill that void. Having spent nine months covering every movement and semi-story of the game in unnecessary detail, newspapers, S*y Sp***s News and football forums are suddenly faced with a lack of subject, and potentially a lot of empty pages or broadcast hours. And so no news is no longer good news, but instead an opportunity to upgrade rumour and heresay to newsworthy fact. Last year I was able to escape the Chinese whispers, put my fingers in my ears and sing about the World Cup with our side project Twinty Tin. This year sadly such a diversion is not forthcoming and so I have been forced to wade into murky bollocks deep world of transfer chatter.
Frankly I don’t have the patience or the time to sift through what is genuine and what is as made-up as Barbara Cartland amongst the tabloid football talk. The only supposed ‘nailed on’ rumours I’ve read regarding Rovers in the past few years have been Matt Mills transfer to Nottingham Forest and Sean O’Driscoll’s move to Burnley, so you can perhaps understand my scepticism. And so to alleviate the pain and save time I have created Viva Rovers’ own Transfer Rum-o-meter, an almost fool-proof system capable of generating over a million individual transfer rumours,which fit neatly into the following suitable exclusive proclamation.
“Rumours reaching us here at Viva Towers today suggest that Doncaster Rovers are poised to make [INSERT PLAYER] their first signing of the close season. According to [INSERT SOURCE] the Championship club are ready to offer [INSERT OFFER/AMOUNT] for the player, described by many as being [INSERT DESCRIPTION]. Sources close to the player claim that he is [INSERT ADJECTIVE] about the prospect of working with Sean O’Driscoll and Richard O’Kelly at the Keepmoat Stadium.”
To make my summer as a transfer rumour-monger even easier I’m not even going to fill in the blanks myself. Instead I’ll be asking a willing volunteer to select five numbers, each of which in turn corresponds with a prospective transfer target, a transfer fee, a source for the rumour, a description offered by another anonymous source, and a mood for the player himself. Easy. If renegade 1980s and 90s chairmen can phone in their team selections, why not I my articles. Expect three rumours a week from our self-constructed rumour mill over the course of the summer. If you need me, I’ll be on a lilo.