Ciderspace News Page : Tom James And Clickbait Speculation
8 July 2018 : Tom James And Clickbait Speculation
Back in mid-March there was a bit of idle speculation from national paper The Independent over the future of defender Tom James. That was a bit out of character for that paper, given it tends to be the red-tops that feed off such things. The claim was that Celtic, AFC Bournemouth and Swansea City were after a player who used to be on Cardiff City's books, and was about to pick up a decent slice of Yeovil Town's End Of Season Awards.

That seems to have sparked multiple months worth of fairly repetitive stories by a number of websites that have increased the speculation, but on the other hand have added very little in the way of concrete facts along the way. One of those to pick up this story was the national commercial site Here Is The City - which started off many years ago as a finance news site, but has in the last couple of years expanded out to include sport. They ran a March 12th story entitled:

12/03/2018 : Report: Celtic want Yeovil Town defender Tom James - HITC

Unfortunately, for what seemed to be a fairly flakey set of claims, it didn't stop there. Within the 48 hours that followed, providing made-up speculation on two Celtic players, along with an attempt to rope Rangers into the rumourmill. And so HITC ended up with five 'stories' out of one questionable Independent article, in three days, with the subsequent quartet headlining as follows:

13/03/2018 : Celtic want Tom James but Swansea City offers a greater opportunity - HITC
13/03/2018 : Is Celtic's interest in Tom James bad news for Mikael Lustig? - HITC
14/03/2018 : Is Celtic's reported Tom James interest a worrying sign for Anthony Ralston? - HITC
14/03/2018 : Should Rangers join race for Tom James and offer Lee Hodson? - HITC

By the time we hit April, the West London Sport website added the name of Championship side Aston Villa to our Tom James Fan Club, on April 6th along with their local team Brentford. After briefly returning to Celtic again, that was enough to set off HITC again, cooling their interest in Celtic and promptly providing plenty of speculation on two Villa players to wraparound stuff about James before finally concluding that he was still off to Celtic anyway:

02/04/2018 : Three Celtic players fighting for their futures, including six-time title winner - HITC
12/04/2018 : Aston Villa will reportedly challenge Celtic for Welsh defender Tom James - HITC
12/04/2018 : Does Aston Villa's Tom James interest shed light on Alan Hutton's fate? - HITC
14/04/2018 : Could James Bree warning see Tom James snub Aston Villa for Celtic? - HITC

We then had a fairly lengthy lull in proceedings, until Yeovil Town gained a League Cup First Round draw against Aston Villa during mid-June. Merely on the back of that cup draw, rather than any new information, this was good enough for HITC to cancel Celtic's interest in James, reignite Aston Villa's apparent interest, and then just for good measure stick a cherry on top by dragging Rangers out of nowhere for a second time, even though to our knowledge, Glasgow's other club have not been connected with James in any shape or form:

16/06/2018 : Aston Villa given perfect chance to scout Yeovil Town's Tom James - HITC
16/06/2018 : Should Rangers challenge Celtic for Tom James? - HITC

Most recently, during the middle of last week, Sky Sports suggested that Swansea City and Hull City (the first time they'd got a mention) were after James. Less than 24 hours later, the Scottish Sun leapt on this and threw the name of Celtic back into the ring again, referencing the Swansea and Hull reports. This seems to have resulted in a mini-avalanche of commercial websites jumping on the bandwagon. HITC have managed five further articles so far, mostly centred around Celtic again:

05/07/2018 : Swansea and Hull battle for James - HITC
05/07/2018 : Tom James should interest Celtic again after previous link - HITC
06/07/2018 : Report: Celtic step up Tom James interest as English clubs make conact - HITC
07/07/2018 : Celtic's reported Tom James interest should be music to Jack Hendry's ears - HITC
08/07/2018 : Some Celtic fans react to Tom James speculation - HITC

So four months on, HITC have now managed to fashion sixteen articles out of what was ultimately one speculative March 2018 national newspaper article. At present, we're not even 100 percent certain if there has been any firm bid for Tom James - the most the club has mentioned is of some generic 'interest' in some of their players, such as James, but without any firm statement of any bids. There is a reason why this is known as the 'silly season' in football. There may be some mileage in some of the rumours surrounding James, given his good form last season, but nothing that warrants this sort of excess.


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