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August 2021

How transfer rumours really work: the inside story from The Commentariat

By Tony Attwood

I too love the phrase, “The Commentariat”.  Jeremy Corbyn uses it to speak of the scoundrels who write anti-Labour propaganda in the Express, Sun, Mail, Times and the like.  But I think it could be used also for the people who write the continuous anti-Wengerian propaganda in the media.  For both come without evidence but just assertion upon assertion often contradicting themselves, with the sole aim of undermining reality.

So I got to thinking about how The Commentariat of Football write their endless transfer rumours – and after a few minutes thinking, it became quite clear.  Each story comes in eight and a half distinct parts.

Of course this approach doesn’t generate the really wonderful headlines like “Juventus kid Moise Kean’s father issues bizarre ultimatum to Serie A giants as he demands tractors in return for son’s signature.”   But it does churn out more and more rubbish, which is what the Commentariat need.

Part One: pick a player

Pick a player, pick a club and then use one of these words or phrases

  • Consider selling / consider buying
  • Expressing an interest
  • Targets
  • The club is set to open discussions
  • Happy to

As in

Arsenal have expressed an interest in Albert B’nk and are set to open discussions with the player’s agent in the coming days.


Albert B’nk is targeting a move to Arsenal and his club Kosmynivck Gletynzk has said they are happy to consider all offers that they get for the player in the region of £35m

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Part two: Arsenal are too slow

  • The hijack
  • The hands off warning
  • Hoping to beat rivals
  • The snub
  • Owner / agent / manager blocks deal

Part one (which of course is make believe) now firmly established the move runs into difficulty.  The phrases of the difficulty are of course standardised to avoid too much thinking on the part of the Commitariat.

Thus, Fis Mghebew, manager of Kosmynivck Gletynzk has issued a strong hands off warning to Arsenal in their pursuit of Albert B’nk stating the player is not for sale at any price.  But meanwhile Liverpool are planning to hijack the deal by working directly with the player, despite earlier warnings from the authorities about such a process.   It is also reported in Kblansk Goal! that the club are planning to snub Arsenal after receiving a higher offer for the talented 12 year old from Chelsea.

Part three: Inside information

  • The house purchase
  • The wife / the girlfriend / the father
  • Seen at airport
  • The closing in on
  • The agrees to buy (or sell)
  • Player happy to leave as “open to move”

One of the all time best of these involved Jack Wilshere seen in estate agents enquiring about houses in north Cheshire, meaning he would be moving to Manchester United.   (He went on loan to Bournemouth two years later).

Arsene Wenger this summer has been seen at airports all over France in fact, although it is noticeable that the Commentariat backed off airport stories for a while after we had signed Calum Chambers and Untold reported spotting him driving up the M3.  Agents at airports just didn’t seem very plausible any more.

Still Albert B’nk is foreign and they do things different in foreign parts.  Thus “Exerio B’nk, father and manager of Albert, spotted at Begrovsnik Airport arranging flights to  Luton as the clubs agree on a price,” takes us onwards to…

Part four: it all goes wrong.

  • Last minute hiccup
  • Late bid by
  • Another hijack
  • Derailed

Liverpool are no longer planning to hijack a deal but Chelsea have hijacked it.  Or failing that “A late bid for Kosmynivck Gletynzk from forward looking Luton Town has derailed Arsenal’s attempt to buy the Azerbaijani defensive midfielder after the club apparently missed a deadline set by the club for bids for the man considered to be the star of the Serbian under 23 squad.  Last minute interest from Manchester City has derailed Arsenal’s chance of signing Albert B’nk and the club is now looking at his younger brother Yung.

The fact that the player is not Serbian and has no younger brother should not be mentioned.

Part 5a: He’s not going nowhere

  • Discussions with agent broke down
  • Not leaving
  • Going elsewhere

Part five in fact breaks down into two, just like the discussions.  Sebastious Zoo, agent of Albert B’nk has claimed that his player is going nowhere this summer, and that it is he and not Albert’s father who represents the player.  “I don’t know where these stories come from,” he said.  “Albert’s father is a nice guy, but he’s a farmer.  He knows about tractors, but nothing about football.”

Part 5b: Deviations and diversions

  • The pre-season tour
  • The competition

Albert B’nk has told reporters he is pleased to be going (on tour) with Kosmynivck Gletynzk before the start of the new season.  Meanwhile, Arsenal “face increased competition from Manchester United for the player’s signature.”  Sebastious Zoo expresses his frustration that while other clubs have agents queuing at the door “we’ve not heard from Arsenal at all in the past week.”

As a result “Arsenal could face competition from Birmingham City who are looking to secure the deal for the player in the next three days.”

In fact Sebastious was right: they had not heard from Arsenal this week.  Nor this month, nor any month since there never was a transfer.

The Mail says that Arsenal’s “hard ball tactics could come seriously unstuck with the club saying that if the deal is not settled this week, it is completely off.”

Part six: Resurrection and failure

  • Resurrection
  • Failure
  • Sources

“Arsenal are planning to resurrect their attempts to sign Albert B’nk from Kosmynivck Gletynzk after their failure to sign Hignugus Endymion from Utrecht,” shouts the Sun, as if it actually knew where Utrecht might be.   “Sources close to Kosmynivck Gletynzk are saying that they were ready to sell B’nk to Arsenal only for the club that reduce the amount they were willing to pay just as the player was ready to board a plane for England.

Albert”s elder brother says that Arsenal’s behaviour is thoroughly discourteous and he has never known anything like it before.  Fis Mghebew has stated that the player is still for sale, but the price has now doubled, but that Chelsea have indicated that they are still interested.

Part seven: Bognor Regis

  • Bemusement

“Bognor Regis manager Valerine Cant has expressed bemusement at reports in the local paper that his club has signed Albert B’nk from Kosmynivck Gletynzk.  ‘I’ve never heard of B’nk, nor his club’,” said the bemused ex-Wolverhampton full back.  ‘But if he’s any good of course I’ll consider him’.”

Part eight: Spain

  • Late last night

The media loves the phrase “late last night” as it gives the impression of their journalists working hard on their readers’ behalf into the wee small hours, rather than sitting in Docklands pub making up stories as the lunchtime drink moves into an early evening quick one.

“Late last night Spanish club Bognore Regissiana who play in the Malaga regional league division 3, announced the surprise signing of Elberto Benik from local rivals Hola Marinero.”


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4 comments to How transfer rumours really work: the inside story from The Commentariat

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Master Tony, on my reading your article posting on the dishonest Arsenal transfer rumours being dished out by the Commenteriate this summer and in the past transfer windows, I laughed. How did you get their tricks of their make to believe or make many to be interested in their Arsenal transfer rumours? Despite the fact that only 3 out of the 100 plus of the media Arsenal transfer rumours in the last summer window came true or partially came to be true. But yet, the media without any prove other than to ramble and speculates basing their rumours on the likely new players need of Arsenal and by other top clubs, still, they continue to publish these rumours with limitless abandoned.

    This brings to mind if the recent media transfer rumours that’s linked Arsenal with the possible signing of Kylian Mbappe and Alexandre Lacazette could be false? I wonder.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    On my checking the meaning of Commentariat, the Merriam Webster dictionary is telling me that, it is a group of powerful and influential commentators. Hmmm.

  • nicky

    How about introducing the Commentatura…
    cc to Untold? 😉

  • Tony Attwood

    Apologies for lack of new articles since yesterday lunchtime. there’s a tech problem. Trying to resolve it