Kenny Dalglish’s patience with media has become a little strained this season, and the Scottish manager’s latest run-in has done nothing to patch up the situation. Liverpool’s failings on the field of play, the Luis Suarez ‘handshake’ and now rumours surrounding transfers at the club have pushed the relationship to almost breaking point. But is the Reds chief could well be right in his criticism of growing press intrusion.
The world of football has never been the same since the Rupert Murdoch fuelled SkySports intervention transformed and repackaged the sport for the consumerist market of 1990’s Britain. Their alterations to the game centered around a new media aspect, turning the sport into more of a spectacle to infiltrate the living rooms of the nation, moving it away from the purity of its previous form
Since then this effect has snowballed with the creations of SkySports news, an increasing presence of the tabloid press and the internet, all of which are hungry for a story to fill pages an airtime. As a result almost every aspect of the sport is analysed, and dissected, pulling up stories which may not have been there in the first place.
As somewhat of an old school manager, Kenny Dalglish has found the transformation of the game to be disorientating, with the bulk of his previous management experience coming through the 1980’s and 1990’s. During this period the influence of the press was a little subdued as compared to now, allowing staff to go about the day-to-day running of their clubs without interruption.
Rumours surrounding the future of controversial striker Luis Suarez and a perspective move to Paris Saint-Germain, have once again riled the Scot, who believes that media outlets are unsettling his camp ahead of the season run in:
“It comes as a surprise to myself, that yourselves [journalists] don’t know how the media work,” Dalglish said to SkySports.
“It was a journalist that mentioned the list of names and it was the chairman that said ‘oh they are interesting’. It was a list of names and Suarez’s name was mentioned, but I don’t know if it was Luis Suarez. I don’t know what Suarez it is.
“Also if the guy who sends the story in, if it is not repeated anywhere else and it has no soul and is not attractive to a newspaper, they don’t get any money.
“So I think it will be interesting to yourselves to disclose to the general public where the story comes from, how they get there, instead of asking us questions every time somebody’s name appears in a paper,” he finished.
It’s a frustrating state of affairs for managers across all leagues, with many transfer rumours being completely unfounded, and churned out purely on speculation. Suarez may well be considering a change of scenery, feeling that there may be too much bad blood between himself and various sectors of English football and as a result this has been seized upon to create a story and fill some time. Newcastle also suffered the misfortune of the press in their attempts to keep hold of Demba Ba, as stories were circulated stating the bargain buy-out clause written into his contract, upping the interest in the Senegalese forward. Individual clubs may well have found this out themselves, but media circulation of the fact alerted them, thus upping the interest levels for one of the Magpies key men.
As the weeks pass, it gets harder and harder to have sympathy with the Liverpool boss, as his talk of a media witch-hunt of his club serves to frustrate fans across the league, but he may well have a point with regards to some aspects of media intrusion. It’s not just Dalglish who has suffered, with the press infiltrating the ranks of clubs across the league system, stirring speculation at each turn. If were not for intervention earlier this campaign the speculation surrounding the demise of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger would have been far less fierce, sparing the Frenchman a fair few sleepless nights over what was ultimately an unfounded story.
It’s been a tough season for Dalglish and the media, with their relationship pushed to breaking point. However, despite his calls for transparency in and a backing of from many areas of the press, it looks highly unlikely that a change will be made, even if would prove to be to the benefit of those involved in the game.
Follow @Alex_Hams on Twitter for more football based ramblings.
[ffcvideo file=”tfcb6″ type=”mp4″ image_type=”jpg”]