The Yorkshire Post pondering the possibility of Leeds United snapping up out-of-contract Michael Owen is precisely why the summer transfer windows has become known as ‘silly season’.

The unnamed writer suggests that the former England striker could still command wages upwards of £50,000 per week, which is precisely where any Leeds United fan that has been around for the last seven years stopped reading and started rolling around on the floor in fits of uncontrollable laughter.

The worrying thing is that some Leeds United fans tend to buy into these nonsensical rumours and are currently setting themselves up for a huge fall when our starting line-up next season doesn’t feature the likes of Jermaine Beckford, Michael Owen and Joey Barton – all of these players are out of our price-range, and footballers seldom take pay-cuts to join what used to be a big (high-paying) club.

We’re a mid-table Championship club now with Ken Bates as our chairman – we need to keep things in perspective.

The problem is that these rumours quickly gain traction due to the incredible power of social media. The Yorkshire Post publish a ridiculously speculative piece, a few dozen tweet about it and within a couple of hours, it’s no a longer the “what if?” that the Yorkshire Post published, but a full scale rumour backed up by sightings of clandestine meetings allegedly held in highly public places.

What was initially “What if Leeds United gambled on a £50k-per-week injury-plagued former England striker” quickly becomes “Neil Warnock is chasing Michael Owen” and before you know it, someone has taken it upon themselves to start claiming that the deal will be completed by early next week. It’s Chinese whispers on speed.

Remember when I said I’d run around Elland Road naked if Patrick Viera signed? Well, if Michael Owen signs I’ll run the London marathon and donate every penny I make in sponsorship to Ken Bates. And just so you understand how serious I am, the only thing I hate more than unnecessary exercise is giving money to Ken Bates.

On a positive, and more importantly, realistic note, Neil Warnock has hinted at a move for Clint Hill should he decide to leave QPR when his current contract expires.

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