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Five Things You Need To Know About Brentford Click Bait

Five Things You Need To Know About Brentford Click Bait
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Beesotted regular, and seasoned jouro, Jim Levack, gets all-of-a-click about the latest raft of bargain basement stories about the Bees ‘supposed’ transfer targets. It’s gonna be a long summer of transfer twaddle from the click-bait kings!

I’m a journalist. Not a content marketer. For anyone in any doubt about the difference, a journalist is usually a trained writer able to build an affinity with the person they’re interviewing to get a decent angle that people will want to read.

 Content marketing is a new title created by people who haven’t had the journalistic training or don’t have the attributes needed for the job… and it seems these marketing types have convinced people that there’s now no longer any need for journalists.

 Things change, I accept that, and in an era where people – football fans included – are time-poor, clickbait is king.

 Stuff like ‘Ten things you never knew about Peter Gilham (Number 7: He had a deliberate penchant for horrible jumpers in the 70s)’ or worse still, ‘Seven players Brentford should be looking at for next season’.

 There are several sites, whose writers (in the loosest sense of the word) appear to make a living from putting hundreds of names in a hat and then pulling out a club name and writing a few pars linking the two. Challenge them about the absence of any basis in fact and they’ll come back all guns blazing at you.

The latest – ‘5 midfielders that need to be on Brentford’s transfer radar’ – is frankly a joke to anyone with the slightest knowledge of the way Brentford operate these days.

Four of the five ‘must-have’ players were aged 30 or over, at least three of them names who have been around the block… one of them Steve Sidwell!

The final suggestion in the list was nearer 22-year-old so slightly more feasible, but nonetheless probably not the kind of player we’d need, based on the ones we currently have. And I use the word currently advisedly.

Obviously if people – yes, including me – are stupid enough to have our curiousity piqued by deliberately vague headlines, then more fool us… and me.

That technique has never been more apparent than with the constant stream of ‘Dean Smith odds-on favourite for (insert name here) job’ stories that these sites churn out.

I haven’t got a clue whether he’s actively sought or applied for any of the ‘merry-go-round’ jobs but knowing him purely through my own post-match dealings with him and those of respected colleagues who have worked with him, Dean Smith is a man of fairly unique principle in today’s game.

Obviously, everyone has their price but an excerpt from the final day press conference that didn’t get reported was quite telling, as he insisted “money isn’t everything”.

Sadly, that didn’t get reported in the local press because they were out by the tunnel chasing the players… a scene which judging by my former paper, The Chronicle’s, decision to withdraw from covering Brentford in full, will only deteriorate.

Back in the day it was an independent newspaper that charted the ups and mainly downs of the Bees, with the legendary George Sands attending a total of 1,126 Brentford games on the trot between December 1953 and May 1976. He missed only one Brentford match in all his time with the Chronicle, having been in hospital over Christmas in 1953. 

Fast forward half a century – after the Chron, working with some of the guys still running Beesotted today, quizzed Ron Noades and Dave W£bb over their motives – things have changed.

Thanks to swathing cuts and a misguided approach to news and sports news gathering by Trinity Mirror, we are left with the new iteration of Get West London which runs with the misnomer of www.football.london – yes it covers London football, but only the Premier League.

The last Brentford story apart from a speculative piece about Smith heading to The Hawthorns, was Dean’s final day ‘grass isn’t always greener’ tale.

 Beesotted has stepped into the void with podcasts, a radio show and longer pieces like this one, but the immediacy of a news format interview with managers or players has gone.

For me it’s so sad that a club going places after its fourth consecutive season in the Championship now no longer has one of its best loved newspapers giving the incredible achievements of this little club from West London the coverage it deserves.

But no doubt they will be back to give Brentford 100% coverage… when we reach the Premier League.

Jim Levack

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About The Author

Dave Lane

Beesotted Editor Since 1990

4 Comments

  1. HerzyBee

    Bang on Jim

    I’ve long stopped following click-bait to Get West London and all the anonymous transfer gossip sites, life is too short to waste it reading someone’s fertile imagination….I used to suspect that players agents use them as free ads for their clients. The constant inaccuracy of these keyboard worriers betrays their lack of real stories. Personally, I wait for the club to tell us all, who they have signed and why. In the last 5 years we haven’t been disappointed (well, not often), our recruitment model has unearthed some excellent players, and, now the B team is showing it’s value, we have some future stars emerging.

    I have been to a few B team matches this season and have been very impressed by Mads, who looks ready to step up, and in the last game…..our enigmatic Scotsman, Theo was a bit special…..

    Can’t wait for the fixtures……Oh and I really don’t care who goes up in the Play-off match this afternoon….. tbh, I’m more interested in who fills the last slot in the Dhrews v Millers match.

    Ttfn

    Reply
  2. Boru

    True, BFC coverage, is patchy. The “Middlesex Chronicle”, with their office in Hounslow High Street, used to be a great newspaper, with excellent coverage of local sport. True, the so-called, “Get West London”, can be appallingly superficial and very difficult to load, with all the ads swamping the server. However, football non stories proliferate, even on the BFC site, where tired old cliches are interminably trotted out by interchangeable players, about how great they will be, somewhere down the line, or “cracking on”.
    So, for example, who can be trusted, if not the Wolverhampton “Express and Star”, founded by Andrew Carnegie in the 1880’s and claiming to be, “the biggest selling regional evening newspaper in Britain”, pretty sound credentials.
    On 22/05/18, they published a report, claiming that WBA’s, “Guochuan Lai……picked Moore over Brentford’s Dean Smith from the two main candidates presented by chief executive Mark Jenkins….the club had already whittled down dozens of applicants to these two men.” Is this a fact, or fake news?

    Reply
  3. Greville waterman

    I can still (just about) remember the days when three, yes three local papers covered Brentford in massive depth with match reports, previews and news columns.

    Such levels of scrutiny helped keep the club honest even though it has to be said that many local journalists were more like cheerleaders not wanting to bite the hand that fed them.

    Now we have the ridiculous situation of a leading top ten Champiinship havi Gung nobody responsible for covering them either on mathdays or throughout the week.

    The club does a stirling job on keeping its fans informed on events at Griffin Park but there are obvious limits and constraints on what it can cover.

    Football thrives on independent and objective reporting which ensures that the awkward questions are asked and also answered.

    Tom Moore did his best given the constraints under which he was forced to work but Get West Lindon rarely offered more than the banal or obvious.

    Now we don’t even have that.

    Anyone stupid, bored or desperate enough to read (in the broadest sense of the word) the ever growing series of clickbait sites quite frankly deserves everything he or she gets.

    Obviously people click onto them or they would cease to exist but WHY?

    There are talks going on behind the scenes of ways to fill the gap next season and I long for the day when some media outlet is able to provide this amazing g club with the level and depth of coverage that it deserves.

    Reply
  4. David Carney

    Like it or not newspapers fill content that a captive audience wants to read. In London and West London in oracular other than poor old Wimbledon the lowest supporter base is Brentford, therefore a feature covering Brentford will sell less papers than if space was given to a feature on one of the other clubs. The goons running click bait are the same and as Jim noted they have less quality and knowledge so the problem is compounded. Readership attracts numbers advertising money, so their logic is sound. The reality is as of now there is lower quality coverage and less coverage because of the Brentford audience size. The same principle applies to numbers of times Brentford feature on TV.
    Nothing of significance will change until Brentford have been performing well in the Premier League for a number of years and the supporter base has increased in size (and this can only come from attracting kids).
    Meanwhile, as Jim says, there are only two reliable sources, Brentford FC and Beesotted. Mind you, in a few years when Brentford has a large following in the Premier League there will be so much sensationalising and misinformation coming from Newspapers, magazines and the online marketing that it will be even more important to listen only to Brentford FC and Beesotted. Back to square one!!

    Reply

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