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Liverpool Journalist - You Got It Wrong O'Neill

John Doe from Vital Liverpool posted the following in our Vital Villa article comments on the recent row between Martin O'Neill and Liverpool boss Tom Jones, sorry Rafa Benitez.

This is from the blog of Tony Barrett, the journalist who first broke the news about Liverpool's bid for Barry in the Liverpool Echo.

Sorry Martin - but you've got it wrong!

MARTIN O'Neill's anger about Liverpool's offer for Gareth Barry seems to be centred on the fact that news of the bid appeared in the ECHO within hours of it being faxed to Villa Park rather than on the offer itself. The Villa boss has convinced himself that the story was leaked to the ECHO by someone at Liverpool Football Club.

But like Sorry Martin - but you've got it wrong!

MARTIN O'Neill's anger about Liverpool's offer for Gareth Barry seems to be centred on the fact that news of the bid appeared in the ECHO within hours of it being faxed to Villa Park rather than on the offer itself.

The Villa boss has convinced himself that the story was leaked to the ECHO by someone at Liverpool Football Club.

But like the Alonso conspiracy theorists, O'Neill hasn't called this one right. Journalists never reveal their sources but it would be remiss to allow the current misapprehension to go unchecked.

No-one at Liverpool leaked news of the bid for Barry. Simple as that.'

Tony Barrett's blog can be found at: Click Here

Now I'm not trying to stoke any fires - and no doubt some readers won't actually look at what is being said before blasting the 'evil' opposition club. But frankly I found the whole row bizarre. Liverpool bid for a player. We rejected it. And........... ? There valuation was seemingly pathetic, so? At the end of the day, they mess about like that, they then don't stand a chance of getting the player, but again, so? Why the war of words in the press? Was it not unseemly? It was certainly unprofessional and did neither club any favours at all did it?

I'm afraid if we are going to get some players in this summer, we are going to have to bid. Now that might upset some clubs that we want their players and yes, we might even go in with a lower than we expect to pay bid in the first instance. So? Should we expect a tirade from that players club?

Lets hope this sort of row doesn't have to become a regular occurance, the only winners are the press and of course our sites as it gets everyone angry and talking!

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday May 17 2008

Time: 12:54PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Thanks for the article The Fear. Like you, I also hated the war of words in the press between our clubs. I can only hope that it dies down now and both clubs can deal together more professionally. Good luck next season.
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 13:10:00

well said lads, i have huge respect for o'neill and really hate the way this has panned out. *****ing off ferguson is one thing but your gaffer's a true gent.
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 14:13:00

And yes I will take the word of a journalist that it wasn't leaked from Liverpool! anyone can make such a statement without proof. If a journalist told me water was wet I would check first before agreeing.
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 15:34:00

Saddo journo in protecting his source shock? Would he say it was a plop source or not? He has to say this doesn't he? Bog off and nick another couple of hub caps!
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 16:03:00

Believe what you want Villa fans. Rafa said that Liverpool didn't leak the news of the bid. The journalist who first broke the news in the Liverpool Echo said that the leak wasn't from Liverpool. That's good enough for me.
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 16:55:00

Lol - now you've really lost your credibility, JD - believing anything a rag journo has to say!! Like the man said - he would say that, wouldn't he? Wonder which club he supports, by the way ...
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 17:02:00

The Fear, you were right, it's always the 'evil' opposition club who are to blame. :rolleyes: . Bob, O'Neill was upset with Liverpool because he read an article about Barry's bid in the Liverpool Echo, an article written by Tony Barrett. Now the same Tony Barrett says that the leak wasn't from Liverpool, it's obvious that he knows what he's talking about as he wrote the original article that started this whole mess in the first place. I say again, the journalist who was right about Liverpool's bid for Barry says his source wasn't Liverpool FC, it's not that difficult to understand now, is it?
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 17:24:00

Does it really matter? Finger pointing and laying blame should be confined to the playground.
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 17:47:00

I reckon O'Neil would have Rafa anyway!
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 17:59:00

??????The journalist has said it wasn't from Liverpool and MON said it was. What is the point in going on about something that the two sides won't agree on. Rafa's comments since RE: "its a problem if your captain wants to leave" is what has made things worse regardless of the original source.
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 18:19:00

Sorry - the question is what has the journo to gain from doing this. What problems has it caused for him. He's potentially compromised his source within Liverpool, so puts out a vague 'it wasn't a source at Liverpool' blog comment. Gets the source off the hook and gets himself back into Liverpool's good books by seemingly ridiculing O'Neill and saying he's wrong. IF and I mean IF the leak didn't come from Liverpool, why didn't he lead with source close to Gareth Barry says. Agent says. Implying without proof that it came from Barry or anyone within Villa is a far bigger story than the story of Liverpool's bid. No journo worth their salt would miss that angle if it was true. It obviously isn't because he didn't lead with it - therefore this guff now is to get himself out of a hole with his source within Liverpool. Very few people would have known or been involved with the bid, so betcha Liverpool already know who leaked it to him. His blog comment is a pathetic way of trying to cover it up and get his source off the hook.
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 18:48:00

Well said mike_field, Frankly I dont buy news papers for that very reason! I occasionally read one if in a waiting room etc but I do not buy them because the ethics of some journos is questionable at the very least.
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 20:07:00

Good point mike. Hope it wasn't that difficult to understand was it JohnDoe. "it's obvious that he knows what he's talking about as he wrote the original article" (doesn't mean he's telling the truth and doesn't prove anything.)
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 20:12:00

John Doe your quite correct when you say that Tony Barrett knows what he is talking about. But There is a huge but what if he is lying to protect his source?????? The problem I have is the way this was done. MON has never ran to the press before in his life why start now????? Where as RAFA has ran to the press and recently. If Barry goes he goes life moves on. But until some managers and clubs stop conducting there affairs through the pages of the national rags then the ethics of football will and rightly so be questioned at every turn of the red tops..... If Rafa is an innocent man then why didn't he pick up the phone to MON and deal with what has turned out to be a farce, then the 2 managers could have made a combined press statement and then done the deal behind closed doors. Everyones a winner!!!!! But it did not happen that way because Rafa purposely wanted to unsettle the player. IMHO.... BUT THE WORD OF JOURNO HACK IS NO RUBBER STAMP OF ETHICS OR THE TRUTH. Since when has the truth got in the way of a good story??????
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 20:21:00

We will all laugh next season about this summer when Barry is still lining up in claret and blue.
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17/05/2008 20:25:00

sorry jd looks to me as journo is trying to protect his source,agree think everyone in the know at liverpool knows who has leaked this story to press
super lionel martin
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 20:54:00

Liverpool Football Club and Rafa have never dealt with the press when looking to make a purchase, look back over the seasons and you will find that Rafa as never made any bid public.... The first we know about a player signing is usually when he as signed! However I believe this is a totally pathetic arguement from both sides, there are bigger issues in life to worry about, so instead of sitting behind a computer in our comfy homes slagging each other off, why not count ur blessing that we ain't one of the 5 million that lost their homes... Imo grow the **** up and move on.
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17/05/2008 21:41:00

O'Neill only said that the leak was from Liverpool because there was an article about Barry's bid in the Liverpool Echo. That's the only thing that led him to believe that the leak was from Liverpool. Well, both the Manager of Liverpool and the author of the article in question say that the leak wasn't from Liverpool FC. Yet you all still believe that the leak was from Liverpool, why? Just because the article appeared in a Liverpool local paper? Isn't it possible for a Liverpool journalist to have sources outside of Liverpool FC? Think about it.
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 21:42:00

Kenif it's a football board. Simple as that. It may be your honest opinion but I disagree so "Imo grow the **** up and move on." JohnDoe - You've just defeated your own argument. A Liverpool journo with sources outside of Liverpool, we are back to if the source came from outside of Liverpool the story would've been 'source close to Villa or Barry etc'. It wasn't. That speaks volumes. Face it, it came from Liverpool - maybe not Rafa or your board, and I've never said Rafa would be happy about it as it makes him look a **** countrywide. The leak may not have come from him, but his handling since has been diabolical.
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17/05/2008 22:29:00

The story came from Gareth Barry or his agent, let's just all accept it. Liverpool had nothing to gain from it, Gareth Barry did - ie a bigger contract from Villa. The most likely answer is usually the right one, let's just face that.
The Real Neil
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 22:37:00

mike, you're the one who's contradicting himself. The original article didn't say sources close to Liverpool FC. Doesn't that speak volumes also? Like The Real Neil said, we had nothing to gain from the leak. If we wanted to unsettle Barry, a simple phone call from his friend Gerrard would suffice. There was no need to involve the Liverpool Echo or the press in this. In fact, by making the bid public, Barrett hurt our chances in signing Barry as he's under a lot of pressure now from Villa fans not to sign for us. How is that in Liverpool's interest?
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 23:20:00

ps - we don't have enough of these debates, can we start a debate day PMSL
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 23:30:00

Nope Liverpool paper wouldn't say sources close to Liverpool, if the story came from Barry or his agent it would say sources close to Barry. Even Neil knows that he just likes playing DA. lol Barry has nothing to gain by this going public, any increase in wage offer from Villa would occur regardless of the publicity surrounding it. Or do we all believe players never know when a bid comes in and is rejected. Come off it. The only party to benefit is Liverpool by unsettling the player. Barry's position is unchanged regardless of whether it's a private bid or a public bid. However JD I do take the point about a quiet word from a mate, personally I think that was the start in sounding out whether Barry would or would not consider a move anyway. But that's personal opinion obviously and again it would be naive to believe it doesn't happen daily at all clubs. But no chance, you seriously think a player on those wages would be swayed by a fan response of not wanting them to go. It doesn't happen.Going public strengthens Liverpool's position, even given the backfire. Villa have nothing to gain by it being public, and neither does Barry. As above, he won't suddenly get an extra 10K a week just because the story appeared in the Echo or the Nationals. Any interest in him by any club would be known and used to his advantage on securing more money. Neil occcoms raiser or however you spell it, Liverpool gain, nobody else. Anything Barry gains by this being public he'd have gained by it being private. And if you seriously want to travel that route, then who (within 3 hours of the fax) leaked it to Barry's agent to spill the beans - the leak still came from Liverpool but they were clever enough (if you believe this) to wear his agent as a glove. Still comes from Liverpool though eh!
Report Abuse
17/05/2008 23:30:00

This has blown up in liverpools face, i honestly think it come form barry's agent now, i thought firstly liverpool but not now.
Report Abuse
18/05/2008 00:37:00

No. Still naivety being shown by some, including you, JD. A Liverpool journalist would protect his source with his life if necessary, because the club is his bread and butter. Upset the people at LFC and he's the last with all his local stories for the next six months. If you want to know who is to blame for something, look to the motive. Barry didn't need to splash it, and neither did his agent. Both know full well that LFC want him, along with a few other clubs probably. Both know that Villa want to keep him. No need to splash it in the Liverpool Echo to up the price - that would be really stupid. The only party with anything to gain was, as I've said all along, Rafa, who wanted to unsettle Barry and indicate to his own supporters what a great manager he is.
Report Abuse
18/05/2008 02:26:00

mike_field, the fans response prevented Simao from leaving Benfica and coming to us. He was their captain and the fans favorite player, sounds familiar? His transfer was almost completed, and he was on a plane coming to Liverpool to do the physical when their chairman announced the deal. Benfica then cancelled the transfer under pressure from the fans. So yes, the fans opinion do matter sometimes. Going public weakens Liverpool's position, not strengthens it. It would invite other suitors to bid on Barry, raising his cost for us. It would upset Villa and lowering our chance in getting a deal done with them. It would put pressure on Barry from Villa fans not to move to us. What benefit would we gain by the leak? Unsettling Barry? That can be done by a simple phone call from a mate, no need to involve the press in it. I say again, our manager says that he didn't leak the news of the bid, the author of the article says that the source wasn't Liverpool fc. And Liverpool wouldn't benefit from the news leaking to the press.
Report Abuse
18/05/2008 02:32:00

Simple thoughts: Ignore what people say, people lie. Look at the facts. See what you think. A liverpool journalist with known liverpool contacts prints a liverpool story, in a liverpool paper. Villa are furious it was leaked, and have mentioned filing charges with the FA. It hurt villa's performance in a key match. Ockham's Razor... what do you think?
Report Abuse
18/05/2008 02:43:00

JohDoe - I think you're fighting a losing battle on this one. You're clearly a die hard Liverpool fan, and think the sun shines out of Rafa's second mouthpiece - fair enough. Most Villains will no doubt disagree with you, as we know how our club operates, and I am happy to say that it is seemingly with a far higher degree of respect for other clubs than Liverpool and Rafa at present. To be honest, I always used to like Liverpool, and it's a sad indictment of your club that people currently think you are starting to become the new Chelsea. Just look at the comments that Rafa came out with before the Champions League game against Chelsea - outrageous comments about Drogba - showing no class. It wouldn't have happened a few years ago in the Liverpool of old. So you think what you think, we'll think what we think, and leave it at that eh?
Report Abuse
18/05/2008 08:20:00

Why were Rafa's comments outrageous YatesyVillain? Rafa called a spade a spade, or do you believe that Drogba isn't a diver now? You can call Rafa's comments hypocritical, not outrageous.
Report Abuse
18/05/2008 12:53:00

I don't believce this argument is still rumbling on, give it a rest FFS. It's all academic anyway as Barry isn't going to Liverpool or anywhere else.
Report Abuse
18/05/2008 13:35:00

Well said Jonah, Liverpool fans are just on the wind up, i suggest when the inevitable summer of will Gerrard join Real Madrid story pops up like every summer that we annoy them over it. Thanks for your thoughts JohnDoe but your point has been made, move on.
Report Abuse
18/05/2008 14:41:00

My money is on Carson, maybe Rafa gave him a heads up he was trying to do a part ex deal, and Carson so wanting to stay at the Villa leaked it back in Scouseland to unsettle Bazza to try and cement his future is this really what i think? No, but God loves a tryer....
Report Abuse
19/05/2008 10:54:00

Drogba is as much of a diver as Gerrard.
Report Abuse
19/05/2008 12:45:00

Personally I think that there's very little doubt that the leak came from the Liverpool end, and from within the club at that. To think otherwise is pretty naive. Anyhow, the damage has already been done, we just now have to sit back and see whether Gareth ends up at Anfield, elsewhere, or remains at Villa Park. I hope for the latter, I expect the former.
Report Abuse
19/05/2008 19:12:00

So Rafa is now suggesting that it was The Brum Mail who leaked the proposed deal, after being tipped off by a Villa Park 'insider'.
Report Abuse
22/05/2008 13:26:00


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