Rumours, Whispers and Reality
At this time of year every newspaper is crammed with speculation linking just about every player to every other club imaginable, and City are no different. Couple that with the announcement of ongoing talks with a mystery investor and City is an absolute hot bed for rumour, gossip and whispers.
The club have come out and furiously denied a deal has already been struck with Chelsea for Micah Richards. However, rumours still persist he is on his way out of COMS. Joey Barton has been linked with almost every mid table club in the Premier League. As for Sylvain Distin, we are all painfully aware of the on going contract saga.
The most upsetting part of all this is the club (the Richard's done deal claim aside) rarely come out and deny outright any of the spurious claims in the press. Nor do they play hard ball to scare anyone off - eg "Yes Micah is available, however anyone must pay our asking price of £30 million and any potential players they have we feel would improve our team". Ok, so that statement is a little unrealistic, but I don't want us to roll over and have our tummies tickled in any dealings. Remember how supply and demand works - I have something you want, so you pay my asking price.
What we (the supporters) are asking then, is City demonstrate the kind of tenacity and hard nosed, business acumen that sets the top sides apart from the others dining off the scraps of those at the top end of the Premier League.
So much of the media focus on unsubstantiated rumours and gossip for the want of a good story. Very rarely do we get the response we would like from inside the club. Add to that the section on the club's website "What the Papers Say" and it is clear there is currency in speculation. Whilst a media watch element to any business is sensible to say the least, publishing appropriate rebuttals alongside these articles would go a long way toward appeasing fans and allaying fears.
The current perception among the fans is we are turning into a selling club. This is probably a million miles form the truth, however what are the club doing to set this perception straight amongst their biggest and most important stakeholder?