Sky Sports Needs an Aston Villa History Lesson and Villa ‘Guaranteed Play-offs With These Transfers’

I’ve just realised I’ve never mentioned the old ‘Villa will guarantee promotion if they buy this player’ clickbait story tactic in Media Muppets…

It’s a tactic used by these blogs that are part of football blog networks (aka football blog advertising networks), which are essentially run to drive advertising. It must be soulless writing for them.

Anyway, it’s a method that must work, as it’s continually used, meaning people seem to be dumb enough to keep falling for such headlines.

Another thing in the football media that makes MOMS laugh is how some football fans seem to think Sky Sports is the gospel of football.

For examples, when fans make comments on social media, such as:

‘The news was announced on Sky Sports, so it must be true’ or ‘Until it’s announced on Sky Sports, I’m not believing it’.

They spin the rumours just like the best of them and sometimes they do it on purpose to push Skybet odds to make even more money for the Murdoch mothership.

Also, they’re no experts, as we’ll see in this example…


Sky Sports


Les Ferdinand on Aston Villa’s ‘ridiculous’ offer, Kevin Keegan and Newcastle


Les Ferdinand has revealed Aston Villa were once willing to offer him “ridiculous money” to join the club, but he was always going to sign for Newcastle after a brief conversation with Kevin Keegan.

Ferdinand was in demand while at QPR, having scored 24 Premier League goals in the 1995/96 season, with Manchester United also in for the striker.

Speaking on Sky Sports News’ Transfer Talk podcast, Ferdinand revealed that famous Villa chairman Doug Ellis did his upmost to persuade Ferdinand to sign for Villa at the end of 1995/96 season, making Ferdinand an offer he thought he could not refuse.

“It wasn’t about the money for me, I needed a move that was going to accelerate my career, but at the time, with all due respect, I saw the move to Aston Villa as more of a sideways step rather than upwards – they had finished behind us in the league that season and were very much in the rebuilding program.”


I can’t find the podcast to this to find out if Les is actually talking about the 1995/6 season like the above article indicates they are. The video clip of Ferdinand speaking doesn’t mention the date.

Why is this important?

Well, I was going to bag out Les Ferdinand here for his poor memory…he didn’t score 24 goals for QPR in the 1995/96 season, because he was playing for Newcastle at the time (it was the season before).

Also, Villa weren’t exactly experiencing a “sideways step” in the 1995/96 season – they finished 4th in the League, won the League Cup and were FA Cup semi-finalists. Villa certainly didn’t finish behind QPR as the article states, because the Hoops finished 19th and were relegated!

2. So, due to the mitigating circumstances, we’ll let Ferndinand off here and point both fingers at the content minions working at Sky Sports.

Evidence they would be the type of people to get their dates messed up and balls up the article come with this sentence:

“My agent looked at me, we went into another box, and he looked at me and said ‘did you here what he just said?’

Now, I’m not the greatest sub in the world and barely have time to check this site, but shouldn’t that be ‘did you hear what he just said?’

3. Unless they change the date in the article, Sky Sports readers will now think Villa were useless in the 1995/96 season. I mean, come on, at least give us that season to have some pride about…

Haven’t you done enough damage to football with your constant fixture date changing?

Media Muppet Rating: 7/10

Simple mistake, but makes a farce of the interviewee.

Back to that clickbait headline trick…


Transfer Tavern website


Big Statement: Aston Villa Will Soar into the play-offs if Smith secures this quality duo


Aston Villa haven’t been able to ensure consistency in recent times, which has seen them drift away from the play-off places. 

The Villains will need to seek immediate improvements if they are to stand any chance of securing a play-off spot in the current campaign, with the January transfer being their last hope.

[blah, blah, blah]

So, Aston Villa will soar into the play-offs if Smith secures this quality DUO

Then basically it just says ROMAINE SAWYERS and NEAL MAUPAY, with a short inane description why Villa should buy them.


1.This story uses an old chestnut clickbait trick to lure readers in – the headline that guarantees a glorious outcome.

The ‘Aston Villa Will Get Promoted if they sign this player’ and variations on a theme, litter the news aggregator Newsnow and have turned it into a cesspool of rubbish rumours.

Pretty much every time you see such headlines the story is bull. The truth be told these are not really football blogs but ad networks posing as football websites. If you see such headlines – don’t waste your time.

2. They use another shady clickbait tactic too – where their outlandish headline on Newsnow changes when you actually get to the story.

In this case, the promise of the play-offs headline, switches to ‘Smith must sign Sawyers and Maupay’, as if they are actually ashamed of their first headline.

3. Stop with the Maupay links already – Abraham is staying. Also, in light of FFP, Villa do not have the kind of money that Brentford would want to drop on a striker now, especially when they’re paying the big wages of the likes of Tammy Abraham, Jonathan Kodjia and Scott Hogan (and Ross McCormack).

4. Speaking of wages, there’s already too many midfielders in the Villa squad to entertain getting Brentford’s Romaine Sawyers in. I can’t seem him being a regular starter anyway, so what’s the point?

5. Is this just the old lazy linking a manager to his former players routine?

Media Muppet Rating: 8/10

Writers who know little about the club, pulling stories out of their butts



  1. After all of the Tammy Abraham’s garbage, I would give media muppet rating of 10 out of 10 for all of the fake news trash.

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