By Daniel Rhodes.
I’ve got a confession: every morning, the first thing I look at is the BBC Gossip Column. I’ve been addicted since it started in 2006. I can’t get enough of it. The alluring adjectives drag you in. The “prodigious” new Spanish talent; your star player “pledging his loyalty”, a rival clubs new owner “sparking fears of an exodus”. The language is familiar to all football fans. The column – if you’ve never seen it (and if you haven’t, don’t look, it’ll only end in tears) – is a collection of transfer stories, printed across the footballing media landscape, written in bite size chunks, with the source listed underneath. In recent years the BBC have started putting a hyperlink to the online version of each story. It has evolved from a small page tucked away at the bottom of the football section to a large “Gossip” graphic, now always accessible on the front page of the BBC Sport website. It’s gone mainstream. There are problems, if you want to dig a little deeper. Finding the source of the source listed by the BBC is tough. Is it the football agents, club directors, newspaper journalists, website editors or even the players themselves behind the constant speculation? This article will have a look at each possible source, the various motives, agendas and most importantly, the level of credibility attached to each one.
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