Tricky leaks?

Being a seasoned user of the internet for football-related news, gossip and rumours it’s not really surprising that as the close season period comes around we endure a flurry of (mis)information to correspond to increasingly news-hungry supporters.  I tend to only really pay attention to Forest, naturally enough, but I’m sure it’s the same for most clubs.

This season seems to have seen an exponential growth in both impatience and this clamour from Reds fans, though. Or is it just me?  I’ve a number of places I check out for hints of news, a select few people I talk to on occasions to get news – but this season seems to have been a real explosion of outlandish rumours – or, rather, outlandish rumours that seem to be being discussed more widely.

Forest are notoriously closed-shoppish when it comes to giving out information, so we are a pretty difficult club to read – which is why on the average internet message board the typical resident “in the know” member has an unimpressive-at-best hit rate in breaking (or “calling” as seems to be the term for it) new signings or news.

Why people have this desire to be that person is a bit of a mystery to me – I guess we are all inherently nosy, so by being the ‘man in the know’ gives one a certain degree of popularity and attention.  Add into the mix the increasingly ubiquitous nature of Twitter and the fact that football related people are now using it and I think we have our explanation.

Even Nigel Doughty is supposedly Tweeting now (under Twitter name @nffc37 should you care to check him out).  Every Tweet from a Forest player or staff member, or supposed target (particularly Wayne Routledge!), is scrutinised and has more meaning driven out of it than should be possible for a block of text limited to 140 characters.

Rather than join the clamour it’s kinda turned me off Forest in the close season – you’ll have noticed a singular lack of internet activity from me compared to during the season.  I can kinda understand why people want to know stuff, but I’ve always been relatively content to just wait to see what happens and what gets confirmed.

Will my life really be different if I found out – for example – that Wayne Routledge were signing for us two days before it was confirmed on the Official Site. (For those of you trying to divine hidden meanings – that really is an example, not a prophecy or a prediction – although I’d certainly welcome Wayne signing for us!).

It was probably reading Mick McCarthy’s thoughts about ‘Twitter Twits’ that started me on this track.  He’s got a point, I reckon.  Twitter has already tripped up a few people – and I imagine there’ll be more.  Whether it’s compromising transfer deals or divulging tactics or just – well – displaying the stereotypical footballer level of intelligence when having a platform that is being scrutinised by fans, I can only see it ending in tears.

The explosion in Social Media (of which, of course, my own humble efforts are a symptom) is a brilliantly powerful way of people sharing thoughts and information – but in naive hands it’s a dangerous prospect.  Hopefully as football clubs and journalists become a little more savvy and responsible it will close some of the loopholes that drive this clamour for information.

I don’t suppose that the rampant demand to get the inside scoop in football will ever change – and as long as that demand is there, there will be people willing to service that demand.  Whether that servicing is based on real information, guesswork or even brazen mischief-making is down to the collective to determine – but personally I find it really rather tiresome!

What’s worse is the Reds will be even now preparing to kick off against PSV Eindhoven for our only home pre-season friendly – and I’m stuck in a hotel on a working trip and not able to take in the match!  I’ll be keeping an eye on Twitter though, so please do Tweet updates if you have them folks!!  Apologies for the long ponderings.  Off to the bar now!