By Tony Attwood
It was in August 2012 that I wrote an introduction to the craft of the Vapour Transfer, having in previous articles explored the way that the transfer market was being manipulated by clubs.
In that piece I drew a comparison with the activities of companies like Microsoft and Apple, with their pre-announcements of products that never appeared, and which were announced in order to make life difficult for the opposition by leading them in the wrong direction, stealing their thunder, or just causing mischief.
The US judge who looked into Microsoft’s approach to selling called it “a practice that is deceitful on its face and everybody in the business community knows it.” After that, as I added, Vapour transfers gathered pace, being used to distract other clubs – but also being immediately distinguishable from the invented ramblings of a journalist who has either spent too much time in the pub or is too gullible for his own good by having a slight element of possibility within the story.
Since being “too gullible for your own good” has become a professional trademark both of a number of newspapers and the bloggettas, whose bizarre stories, Sir Hardly Anyone brings us on a regular basis. But it looks like a Vapour Transfer tale is still able to draw in a big club and waste their time.
My point in the original article was that once you see the way in which Vapour Transfers work, suddenly the whole of the international transfer market becomes clear.
The vapour transfer type 1, the Distraction, tells of a player that Arsenal might be buying (but who in reality they are not) in order to put other buyers off, or in order to muddy waters or generally confuse.
The Vapour Transfer type 2 is the Deception and this invents a transfer relating to a player who is so good that their chief scout is “ordered” to “drop everything” and damn well start negotiating. But the player (normally placed in Serbia or countries further east) doesn’t exist, or if he does, is very ordinary. It drains resources as other clubs go looking for him. The more they can’t find him the more they look.
The Vapour Transfer 3 is known as The Destructive Expectation which says that a real player that everyone knows about, wants to leave and is about to sign for another club.
The media like this because they don’t have to do any work, and the bloggettas like this because it gives them their utterly crazy stories day by day.
But there can be a nasty underside and if a club owning the rights to a player uses the scam, they have to be very careful. The story breaks, and the player thinks about all the money he could make with a move. His head is turned so he says, “I’m not signing a new contract.” Remember at this stage the player’s club don’t want him to leave, but suddenly he’s all on edge. His head is turned. Negotiations and relationships become strained – it is a dangerous ploy.
Then the fans are excited by the story (which remember has no truth) and so are expecting the signing and the directors start asking the scouts what it is all about, and so the scouts have to go out looking, disturbing the equilibrium of the club where the player resides, even more.
But clubs can use this on one of their own players if they want to get their own back on a club that they feel has messed with them in the past.
This upsets the player, who refuses to believe that there is no story, and that it is all made up. It upsets club with the player who were quite happy for the player to stay, and the club that is said to be about to buy the player who now have fans expecting a purchase.
According to the Indy L’Equipe reported that D Levy has made it clear to the French club that they are after the Belgian.
And then, “Arsenal have also been linked to the striker but Spurs are reported by others to be leading the race for the striker who has scored 14 goals already this season,” proclaimed the Indy. Here’s another possibility. The TT’s knew they are home and dry with the transfer but want to get one over Arsenal by making it look like Arsenal want this player.
What we have to remember is that Tottenham do need cover for Kane who is the source of their charge up the league table this year. Arsenal on the other hand have Alexis, Theo and Giroud who can score. So it all looked realistic from a Tottenham point of view, although not from an Arsenal point of view.
As the Guardian said,
Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi signs new contract with Marseille
Or was it that Marseille were really annoyed that they didn’t get Lamela in September after Tottenham Hotspur blocked the transfer taking place? Lamela was widely tipped to join Marseille on a season long loan deal but it never came off and Marseille were left looking a bit silly by those who don’t know about the murky world of Vapour Transfers.
That actually may well have been the case. Mr Levy prides himself on being a tough negotiator, but sometimes people have a way of getting one back at the tough guys.
Insult of the day (our regular riposte to the aaa) “Doubt not her care should be to comb your noddle with a three-legg’d stool, and paint your face and use you like a fool.” (Taming of the Shrew).