Club website wants piece of the pie

Welcome to 2007; where the internet is king. The Man was fascinated to see the club ban fans from observing certain training sessions this week.

Welcome to 2007; where the internet is king.

The Man was fascinated to see the club ban fans from observing certain training sessions this week.

The club voiced concerns sensitive tactical information was finding its way onto websites - and eventually to opposition managers.

Grant explained: “Last season there were a couple of occasions when information unfortunately got out on to websites that I wasn't happy with from training sessions when I'm trying to get ready for an important game.”


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Hmmm.

He added: “Last season when Earnie was injured on the training pitch before a game it was on a website before I had got back to my desk, which isn't acceptable.”

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Interesting - Wrath of the Barclay (WOTB) clearly counts the manager amongst its viewers, or at least someone within the club's PR office had tipped him off...

Call me an old cynic, but I think there was more than keeping tactics under wraps to this gagging order.

Firstly, if it's about keeping anything secret, it's about keeping transfers and bust-ups out of the public domain, rather than tactics.

If player X lumps player Y in training the last thing the club wants is for Colney Gaz to detail the row on WOTB.

Then the papers get it, then everyone gets it...

The same with transfers.

More often than not now the first whiff of a City transfer appears on an internet message-board.

“I've just seen a 4x4 with the registration Ronaldinho1 at Colney...”

Most of the rumours don't come to fruition - but when they are right - they are first with the news.

It's flattering to think opposition managers are trawling internet message-boards to find out whether Chris Brown or Dion will lead our attack.

But aside from Hux, I wouldn't have thought other teams will be adapting their teams for our players this season.

Will Pardew or Jones be ripping up his tactics after reading Beckford's post that we'll be leaving two up for corners? No way.

Look a little deeper, and The Man thinks you'll also find the real long-term reason for this ban, and like everything, it boils down to money.

Notice where Grant made this announcement over the ban, not in his column in the Evening News, he told: www.canaries.co.uk.

In the age where the internet allows everyone to be a broadcaster, the club will be more and more inclined to host its own news - and charge people for the privilege.

So if it can limit the insight of unofficial message-boards - and keep the exclusives to itself - then in theory it will get more page hits.

More page hits mean more money from advertisers - providing the club's web deal is right...

Quite understandably the club will have looked at the huge number popularity of WOTB and the Pink'Un, and want a big slice of that pie.

After all, the club has the news, so it wants to break it - not some spotty kid on WOTB who has sneaked into Colney.

So ban the snoops from Colney, and hey presto, people will have to turn to the club's official website for scoops rather than WOTB.

If you think this theory is a bridge too far, then note the media management of our new arrivals this summer.

In days gone by we would have unveiled them three at a time, but not this year, not in the internet era.

They were unveiled separately, and each one was accompanied by the option of subscribing to the club's website to see the press conference for a small fee...clever stuff eh?

Full marks to the club for trying to maximise its revenues, but if it thinks it can stop web whispers it is sorely mistaken.

GRANT NEEDS A CHILL PILL AFTER BARNET

More oten than not managers just trot out the same old clichés after games.

Not so this week.

The Man was tickled by both Grant's and Fairclough's comments after the Barnet game.

Peter the Pointer (PTP), having seen his side race into a 5-0 lead before sitting back in the second half, raged: “I actually had to sit down because I thought I was going faint at the performance. So many wrong choices and just a lack of professionalism probably sum it up.”

Take a chill pill fella; after the dross we've soaked up for three years 5-2 is more than acceptable.

But PTP's Barnet counterpart was not to be out-done in the quotes stakes.

He waxed lyrical about his mildly useless side: “I believe this will be a defining moment in our season.

“We were like gladiators - the locals were baying for our blood and we put our shields up, had the daggers in our mouths and showed a lot of strength.”

Eh?

UNITED FANSSHOULD KEEP VERY QUIET

Wonderful to see that slimy git Ronaldo sent off during the week.

A fantastic player - no doubt - but The Man's skin always crawls when I see him.

Those with delicate hearing will also have picked up some of the chanting from Man U fans at that Portsmouth game.

Cries of: “You can stick your ******* England up your a**e” were ringing out again.

Still, when ITV's sycophantic Champions League coverage kicks in at Old Trafford, Jim Rosenthal will be rallying us to the patriotic cause of an English team in Europe.

Not The Man.

I'll take deep delight in watching them get turned over again.

SHAMBOLIC TEVEZ AFFAIR

Has The Man missed something here?

This week the Press Association reported the following: “The Premier League has confirmed Tevez formally left West Ham last week, United paid the 23-year-old's 'adviser' Kia Joorabchian a reported £10million for a two-year loan, with the option to turn the transfer into a more permanent arrangement at any stage before the contract expires.”

How is that not a third party agreement? Shambles.

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