I do get to hear a lot of developments at the Cooper Associates County Ground prior to them actually happening, and therefore being announced via the club’s official press releases and website updates. Not everything – of course not – but a fair few things.
Sometimes this can be well ahead of the official announcement, like Chris Gayle’s signing for instance, which was brought to my attention about two months before becoming reality. To the contrary, I was informed of Nosworthy’s departure about five hours before the club told the world.
This is not because I mix in certain ‘in the know’ circles; I rarely sit in the press box through choice. I do not have inside informants at the club – I know one or two people. Nor do I spend hours hanging around the club office or the indoor school waiting to see things that may lead to a good story. I haven’t got the time nor the inclination to do that. I’m not a journalist you know!
The management and media team at Taunton do a sterling job keeping everyone informed via the right channels and at appropriate times. But Taunton is a small town and, in the grand scheme of things, Somerset is a small club. People talk; players, officials, staff, local press representatives, sponsors, advertisers. And people in the town are passionate about Somerset County Cricket Club even on cold December days when all thoughts should be with the festive season.
People talk. And people want to know what is going on.
Very few new signings these days are ‘out of the blue’, so I was actually quite impressed and relieved that the signing of Cameron Bancroft this week came without much in the way of rumour nor social media wittering’s. This signing was a surprise to me, and so it should be. And to all Somerset supporters.
So it looks like the club are making renewed efforts to keep all developments under wraps until they deem it fit to communicate updates and are ready to do so.
There has been a lot of pressure on the CEO and his team following the changes to the membership packages and it may have been tempting to offer some crumbs of comfort to those voicing their concerns and anger. Even if to divert such criticism or justify the decisions made. But the club kept its counsel. And quite right.
Gossip is inevitable but it is not healthy when developments are ‘announced’ on Twitter by people claiming to be in the know, or who have been graced with such information and should know better than to place in the public domain against the club’s wishes.
Yes, supporters crave information at all times, but there is a healthy balance of satisfying supporter fascination with reporting in the proper manner. Whatever the underlying facts, the Fakhar Zaman situation was very embarrassing for all concerned but it looks like the club have learnt from this. I do hope so.