Balotelli transfer tweeted; journalists’ job done for them
In another fine example of grassroots journalism, AC Milan organising director Umberto Gandini has scooped the press by announcing the imminent transfer of Mario Balotelli on Twitter.
January 29th, 2013
A statement sent out today – in 140 characters or less – reads: ‘Tranfer [sic] agreement for Balotelli signed with Manchester City. Medicals tomorrow in Milan, then personal terms until 2017 signing’.
Hopefully, readers realise that in breaking such stories himself, Signore Gandini is effectively putting this hard-grafting reporter out of a job. Entire paragraphs concerning the rumoured length of Balotelli’s deal (four-and-a-half years, give or take), the transfer fee and any other financial information (about 20 million euro, excluding bonuses and add-ons) and what the next steps are (Super Mario flies to Italy for a medical scheduled tomorrow) – all effectively eliminated by such concise and official reporting.
All that’s left for us jobbing journalists to fight over now is the full story of Balotelli’s career so far, and how the San Siro stadium should breathe new life into a career that’s seen its fair share of twists and turns.
He never speaks to journalists – his interview with City celebrity superfan Noel Gallagher on a BBC programme last spring proved as close to an in-depth emotional analysis as the viewing public will ever get. He once took a bus tour around Manchester and gave out money to the locals by way of a housewarming present to the city. He wore that famous shirt which bore the legend “why always me?” Our answer: why not? He’s been the talking point of pub lounges up and down the country – not least when he had to be separated from manager Roberto Mancini at a recent training ground bust-up; the pair subsequently trended on Twitter like a comedy double act; a combustible Morecambe and Wise; a continental Cannon and Ball.
And so, dear reader, as we draw this superfluous bit of sport reporting to a close, spare a thought for those of us who thrive on football gossip and make a living from the latest transfer rumours; if the footballing Twitterati have their way, there will be no news left.