When the clock chimed to signal eleven o’clock, one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking occasions a football fan can experience came to a conclusion. No, it wasn’t a cup final, not even a fixture between two rival clubs – it was the phenomenon that is Transfer Deadline Day.
The event has become such a huge part of British football that in summer 2013, the National Football Museum in Manchester began to display a yellow tie as part of its collection. The garment belonged to Jim White, a Scottish presenter well known for overseeing the final hours of Transfer Deadline Day on Sky Sports News. The tie is famous for being worn on the final day of the transfer window, it’s vibrant yellow colour an homage to the ‘Breaking News’ feed that motions along the bottom of the screen. It is now housed alongside a range of historic trophies, Stanley Matthews memorabilia and a tribute to England’s 1966 World Cup winning team. While these will always overshadow Transfer Deadline Day, the fact that it is featured amongst these artefacts of the Beautiful Game shows how much of an impact it has on football culture.
The studio will intermittently cut to reporters braving the cold outside of Stadiums and Club training grounds, often shadowed by a legion of supporters – eagerly awaiting any news regarding potential new signings, with a few members of the public enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame in front of the cameras. Stand-up comedian Jason Manford once joked about how Manchester City fans adorned tea towels on their heads in celebration of the influx of cash their new Arab owners had brought with them.
This was back in 2008, and was the same summer the Citizens signed Robinho for around £32.5 million. While the Brazilian may not have been a complete success at the Etihad, it was the first of many big money signings that ultimately helped City become Premier League Champions, first in 2012 and again last season. Moments such as these are why fans will stay up late to see if there will be any last minute signings, and also a reminder of the riches that are exchanged during between clubs. The 2013 summer transfer window held the record for the most money spent by Premier League sides at £630 million, though this was smashed when the transfer window first shut yesterday – reaching over £816 million pounds.
Social Media also feels the effects of Transfer Deadline Day. Twitter becomes awash with hashtags, and even professional footballers publicise how they are enjoying the occasion. Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic tweeted “Time to enjoy the evening and watch #DeadlineDay ! Should be pretty tasty” while QPR defender Rio Ferdinand also voiced his enthusiasm “I can’t wait to get into training tomorrow to see who’s new #Deadlineday gets you like this! whoever it is – sleeves rolled up & enjoy!”
The Transfer Window may have closed, but that does not mean the fanfare is over. Already rumours are beginning to circulate over which players will be moving in January, and fans are discussing the comings and goings of the past months.
Which club has done the best business this summer? Which signing will make the biggest impact? Perhaps Fabregas to Chelsea? Or maybe Manchester United’s signing of Angel Di Maria? Transfer Deadline day is all about opinions, what is yours?