After the sensational revelations of the twitter dispute between Lincoln City and Newport County FC about the loaning of Jake Thompson, is social media about to play a bigger part in football transfers?
Already there have been mild PR attempts from lower league clubs appealing to fans asking them about future transfer purchases. This can be seen as miraculously stupid, or surprisingly clever. This latest twitter faux saw Lincoln Town’s Twitter guy reply to Newport County’s tweet confirming the loaning of the 23 year old Thompson.
The club appeared to have jumped the gun. This can be of serious risk if the account holder were to handle it inappropriately. It goes to prove how important instant communication is and how it should be handled.
Whether it was unprofessional to post the transfer deal before anything was agreed, or equally as unprofessional to tweet back insisting getting the paper work back to them, remains to be seen but what is does tell us is that social media is the first communication tool communicators jump for.
By Lincoln contacting Newport via twitter rather than phone, email, fax or pigeon shows that social media could become the biggest method of communication.
Imagine if transfers were all dealt like this. And negotiations, too. Imagine how much fun and hostility would be added to transfer deadline day.
@WengerArse: Need a proper striker, can’t be dealing with all of these wingers #20goalsplease
@ManciniCity: You can have @BalotelliKid, he’s doing my head in #cutprice
@WengerArse :Would love @BalotelliKid. How much? @TheoNotHenry wants too much £ #Wedonthavemoneytospend
@TheoNotHenry: @WengerArse I just want to play upfront #promise, you’ll take me @Mancini,City, right?
Football always craves transparency and this would certainly do that. Players negotiating terms of contracts via social media would be mind-blowing.
Fans want to know how much players are on and what secret clauses they have in their contracts. What goes on through negotiations? We can finally find out why a deal collapsed, why a player opted for another club, or how Manchester United conduct their business. I’m getting excited from simply writing about this.
I’m not saying this is the way transfers should be done, I condone clubs using the term ‘undisclosed fee’. Where’s the fun in that?
Something to take from this twitter spat is that communication continues to change and maybe, just maybe, we may get more transparency from clubs about transfers. After all, transfer deadline day is one of the best days of the year.
Steven Woodgate is a regular international blogger for SBI, our on the ground sports business journalist based in the UK. This blog first appeared on his website http://www.stevenwoodgate.org