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Playmaker

Here we go: the transfer king

Here we go: the transfer king

Fabrizio Romano has become an oracle of football transfer pundits. What’s his secret?


Transcript

Hi, I’m Chloe and this is the Playmaker

One story every day to make sense of the world of football. 

Today, why there’s more to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano than just the phrase “Here We Go”.

“Loan bid, for one year until next June. I am going to tweet now ‘here we go’.”

Fabrizio Romano, Bleacher Report

Three words.

Here. We. Go.

It’s a simple catchphrase which has played a huge part in catapulting transfer expert Fabrizio Romano to fame in the world of football. 

More than any other transfer expert in the game today, he is the one with the prestige, accuracy and information that supporters so desperately want. He’s the one who is right most often. Quite simply, when it comes to transfers, Fabrizio is the man.

If he writes “Here We Go” on Twitter, it means he’s got information that a transfer is almost certainly going ahead. 

I spoke to Fabrizio and asked him how the phrase came about in the first place.

“I was just answering people on social media on transfer news and day by day for Manchester United it was but I don’t remember the name because it was not planned, it was three years ago. I was answering and answering and answering. And then when the deal was completed, I said OK, here we go, like saying finally it’s finished and finally this deal is completed, let’s go with the next one. 

And people were start texting me ahh, here we go, here we go the day after I was starting news about Chelsea, Liverpool, many clubs, and they started to tell me, Fabrizio, can we say here we go for this news? Like an approval from me saying OK let’s do it. And so, that’s how it started and I love it because it was built together with followers. It was not from me, it was from US, and I love this feeling.”

Fabrizio Romano

Although we know that a small thing like “Here We Go” can catch fire and go viral on social media, there is more to the success of Fabrizio Romano. 

But with great power comes great responsibility. There’s a lot of betting these days on the transfer market. It makes up part of the £1.2 billion that was bet on football last year.

These bets are called “transfer specials” and the odds in the market can move according to what experts like Fabrizio Romano say.

People can make a fortune off the back of a single one of his tweets. But we’ll come back to all that in a later Playmaker.

You can see how much influence Romano has in the world of transfers. So how exactly did he go from 450,000 Twitter followers to 5.2 million followers in just two years?

“Dentro Icardi, Icardi, Icardiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Mauritoooooooo! Mauritoooooooo! Mauritoooooooo! Mauritoooooooo!”

U.C. Sampdoria

That’s the sound of Mauro Icardi scoring for Sampdoria.  He moved there from Barcelona as a youth player in 2011. It was the first transfer Fabrizio Romano reported on. He’d got close to Icardi’s agent, and again got first-hand info when the striker moved to Inter in 2013.

Before that, Romano wrote about Italian football in general on a website. But transfers were his real passion. 

You need an incredible amount of dedication to become a transfer expert. Fabrizio Romano spends most of his day on the phone, on Twitter and outside hotels in Milan, where the majority of transfer activity in Italy takes place. 

And as the transfer news cycle moves 24 hours a day, it means that he’s never really off duty. During the summer and January transfer windows, people often ask him if he ever even sleeps.

Fabrizio works alongside Francesco Porzio and they now have their own podcast called, what else but, Here We Go!

Their latest episode talks about transfers that didn’t happen. And they also have a Twitch feed where they broadcast live for 12 hours and 43 minutes on deadline day. They had 1.3 million unique viewers. 

Francesco says you’ve not only got to work hard to be successful with transfer reporting, but you’ve also got to be really careful about the accuracy of the information.

“We don’t want to spread fake news or try to being persuasive with the audience. We try to be as clear as possible. So if, for example there are no Liverpool news, no Chelsea news, we don’t say them because we don’t have them. There is no point to, to every time say something about a player going to a club or an interest from a club. If we don’t know something, we avoid the topic or we just say there are no updates. And that’s, I think, a way to let the audience know that we are clear, we are transparent, and we want them to know that we are there to give them the real news and the real story.”

Francesco Porzio

So, a snappy catchphrase, hard work, accurate information. That’s what we’ve learned so far from Fabrizio and Francesco about what makes a successful transfer reporter. 

But the other key thing is to engage with your audience, as Fabrizio explains. 

“Because I want to share my news with people, I want to comment together with people and so this is why I think that people are appreciating that I am spending a lot of time on social media and trying to spread what I know on social media. So, I’ve always been thinking that social media is an important part of my job, of my life, and is helping to have a lot of popularity, but it’s not something that I feel like a king or a celebrity, I just feel like a journalist. And I wake up every morning to have news because you can be popular but if you don’t have news, in two days everything has vanished. So…”

Fabrizio Romano

Excitement surrounding transfers is nothing new. Those of us that are old enough will remember seeing a teaser headline on Teletext about your club’s transfer and having to spend ten minutes on the 50p per minute automated ClubCall line to find out the information. 

Then, the dreaded wait for your parents to get the phone bill.

And in the past, football fans have asked if a deal is “done, done” or “officially official”, but now they ask if the deal is, “here we go confirmed?”

But, as we’ve learned, Here We Go is just the hook. 

The information supplied by Fabrizio Romano is the real deal.

Today’s episode was written by Chloe Beresford, and produced by Imy Harper.