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Tapping up via the media - a modern phenomenon ?


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It seems as though a new kind of tapping up has hit the shores of the Premier League. From the evidence of the last few weeks it now seems like it is enough to make a call to a selling club's manager enquiring about a player, then if you don't immediately get the answer you desire you can go to your local press claiming you've made an offer for a certain player. Once that article is rushed to print (because the press love a story), you can then imply via a press conference that the selling club's manager knew all about your plans for ages and that you are surprised he is claiming ignorance. All of this is of course designed to turn the coveted player's head in an attempt to unsettle him. A player who, by this time, should not even know about the buying club's interest.

A player whose head is turned to distraction is clearly useless to his current team and it effectively greases the wheels of a sale that otherwise may never have seen the light of day. It also saves the buying club the fuss of actually having to agree a fee with the club that holds the player's contract. This of course would be a legal requirement before being able to engage in discussions with the player about whether he wants to move or not. It saves having to play by the book. But as long as it doesn't involve back alley meetings and Machiavellian shenanigans like brown envelopes then it isn't truly regarded as tapping up even though the reality is that it achieves exactly the same thing. It is an underhand shortcut for teams to pillage other teams if they think the player could be more open to a move than the selling club would be - so it removes the barrier of the selling club from the equation by declaring the interest in the player 'to the press' or to put it another way 'to the player directly'.

Now this kind of tactic is commonplace on the continent by the major sides. In fact only last week Real Madrid's president Ramon Calderon proclaimed of Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas "Every coach likes him [Fabregas] but my policy is that it has to be the player who makes the first step for the signing because we don't want conflicts with any team,"" Or to put it another way "give us a call Cesc, wink wink". Now correct me if I'm wrong but surely the only way it can (read - should) happen is if you agree a fee with Arsenal PRIVATELY then talk to the player, but I digress.

It seems not only is it commonplace on the continent but it is the ONLY way some people in positions of power know how to do business.

Rather worrying.

Let's hope it doesn't happen to us, eh ?

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i seem to remember a certain villa manager getting punished for "tapping up" over media comments...

heaven forbid a manager of the media myth alleged "big 4", recieves the same treatment....

there would be black arm bands, minutes silences and all kinds of self grieving nonsense from certain clubs fans if they actually recieved the same treatment as clubs not in this little media created clique...

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i totally agree, although i think this kind of taping up has been more introduced by foreign managers,

were as the older kind of tapping up is more british managers!

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It's not a modern day practice sadly.... 10 years ago it's precisely the way Villa lost Dwight Yorke.

A person high up at Manchester United tipped off some national papers that they were interested in Yorke.

This could be written in the reporters' own words and United would deny all knowledge when questioned on it, claiming it to be 'paper talk'.

The fact that they had told the papers was conveniently forgotten.

Once the horse had bolted, there was no going back and Yorke's head was turned for good.

The same is happening with Gareth it seems.

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Its very much one rule for the big four another for everyone else here, but i agree with LittleDeehanGray, it isn't a new issue but is more prominant in the modern game. Seems now the big four leek who is on their wish list and 9 out of ten times they get them if the player is also keen. A snide way to keep transfer fees to a minimum i think

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