By Kevin Koczwara
Yesterday someone claiming to work for NBC Sports sent out a number of tweets with Liverpool related transfer news. He claimed Adam Lallana’s deal with the club would be done and dusted by 6 p.m. today, that the club had put in a bid for Luke Shaw that included a lot of money and Iago Aspas, that Ashley Cole had signed a two-year contract, and that a deal for Alberto Moreno was set, sealed and delivered. Too bad he doesn’t actually work for NBC Sports.
I was unsure of all the news this person was putting out. At first I thought: well, if he works for NBC Sports then he must have sources. Then I started writing up a post on all of his “Breaking news.” I posted one story, but then pulled it down because I thought better of it. I decided to email NBC Sports, whose soccer blog, ProSoccerTalk, had not run any of these claimed news stories. I have written for NBC Sports in the past, so I had a good contact there. He confirmed my suspicions.
“Thanks Kevin. He does not work for us,” was what I got back.
So, lesson learned. Michael Stafford does not work for NBC Sports. Instead, he just wrote it in his Twitter bio to gain some creditability. I also asked a few of my colleagues who work for places like Goal.com and ESPNFC if they had heard of Stafford, both said they had not. One person said no one creditable followed him, so be weary.
I looked over Stafford’s tweets and decided it wasn’t worth running with someone who I didn’t know or trust — like James Pearce at the Liverpool Echo, who is very trustworthy. The Internet is a crazy place. People can claim almost anything they want to and on Twitter it’s as if everyone claims to be some sort of know it all. During the transfer windows it gets even more out of hand with everyone spreading one rumor after another. Everyone wants a piece of the glory. They want to be “in the know” and they know how to sift through the tabloids to regurgitate transfer news from unconfirmed sources. It’s a dizzying and spinning wheel that we’re all on the ride for. It gets tiresome. Good reporting has been lost and devalued by people like Stafford.
If Stafford ends up being right, it will probably have been a shot in the dark. I’m not holding my breath. Although, I would like to see Liverpool sign Moreno sooner rather than later.