Yeovil Town manager Terry Skiverton has suggested that internet-based Glovers supporters almost scuppered a deal with midfielder Arron Davies. As it happens, the deal with the former Nottingham Forest player has yet to go through anyway, due to a block by the Football League and Football Association on the Welshman's player registration forms.
However, Skiverton has told this week's Western Gazette that supporters who posted rumours of him signing on a Glovers message board were apparently guilty of alerting other clubs to his availability. In the end, Arron agreed terms with the Glovers, and it was the footballing authorities that ended up driving the nail in the coffin to stop the deal going through. Skiverton told the paper that those supporters could cost the club in the long run:
"I had been trying to do a deal with Arron Davies but with all this stuff on the internet, all they are doing is alerting other clubs to the players I am after. When that happens the players are getting phone calls from every other club who can offer money. We were lucky that Arron wanted to come to Yeovil because he was another player people said (on the internet) before anything happened, we were talking to. You have to be wary about breaking the news first because it could cost the club in the long run. We have not got the finances to compete with other teams but there are people who think they are being clever saying 'I saw this person in ASDA' for example and they are not helping the club whatsoever."
Blaming the internet has become a popular pastime for a number of individuals within the club over the years. What is often forgotten in the translation is that the internet is merely one of many vehicles of communication, and that you're just as likely to pick up a rumour in the pubs, the VP Lounge or one of the bigger companies in town. If something has got onto the internet, then it's happened through a human being, and it means that the news is almost certainly already out via the rumourmill.
The second question is whether an internet forum has more clout in attracting interest from a rival club, than - for example - the Nottingham Forest official site, which announced the release of the player on 19th January, or other commercial sites such as the BBC Sport website. We'd also suspect that Arron's agent will have been ringing around clubs on the player's behalf to try to drum up interest. Are these methods less likely to alert clubs than a (on the scale of things) low key message board, where we believe the first claim that Yeovil Town might be making a move came up on the 24th January, close to a week after every club in the country with a conceivable interest would have already known Davies was available.
Regardless, if the club is really worried about 'leaks' then cutting rumours out at source should be what it should be concentrating on. If Skivo is concerned that a claim on the Net that Yeovil had made a move for Davies materially affected that move then he should be looking closer to home to find where the information originated from. However, as always, it's easier to blame the fans and 'hoodies' than look to one's own.
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