Subtract the yellow ties, Jim White’s soothing Scottish tone and Harry Redknapp’s inevitable car window and there’s very little left for viewers tuning in to Sky’s coverage of Transfer Deadline Day. The countdown for this day begins at the opening of every transfer window, yet the finale is often filled purely with hollow rumours and clichés.
A variety of former professional players resurfaces twice a year to offer insight on a club they played for fifteen years ago, cashing in on Sky’s personal over-excitement and getting torn from the screen for the odd cameo by loveable waffler Chris Kamara. The unpredictability of ‘Kammy’ combined with his bizarre antics is what Transfer Deadline Day aspires to recreate.
The spine-tingling loan of Robert Huth to Leicester summed up the anti-climactic nature of this year’s Transfer Deadline Day
But, unfortunately for Sky, this hope rarely materialises into an enjoyable day of television. Sky’s build up and anticipation for this day is perhaps summarised in their petition to make Transfer Deadline Day a national holiday. While this is, hopefully, a petition made in jest, it sums up how people buy into Sky’s own hype surrounding what Twitter calls ‘#JimWhiteDay’. Transfer Deadline Day has been made even more dull and unwatchable since they’ve banned the public from standing anywhere near the camera. Which isn’t that surprising after the antics of a particular Everton fan last time:
The anti-climactic nature of Transfer Deadline Day was summed up this year by the fact that it took a little over four hours of coverage before the first bit of Premier League activity: the spine-tingling loan of Robert Huth to Leicester. Since then, Sky has just been full of speculation and interviews from reporters standing outside a training centre or, in special cases, from inside the stadium. Most of the news from these reporters is that a player is “going nowhere” – hardly stuff that’s going to get you on the edge of your seat. Or, if there is a transfer, it’s one that’s been in the pipeline for weeks. Yet Sky will regurgitate the exact same information they’ve been stating about the transfer since it started.
The sceptical football fans among us even suggest that Sky lie about how close a transfer is before revealing the new odds on whether the player will sign. One prominent example of this being the João Moutinho transfer to Spurs in the summer of 2012, the signing that never was, fortunately for the wallets of those behind Sky Bet. But if people are looking for ways to brighten their Transfer Deadline Days by placing a few bets, then PaddyPower is usually the place to go, with each Deadline Day providing new odds for the first cliché Jim White uses in his eight o’clock shift. This Transfer Deadline Day had “The clock is ticking” as the front-runner for Jim White’s first cliché, for when White is describing the theory of time to anyone that was previously left in the dark:
If you’re one of the many thousand people who have signed the aforementioned petition, stuck at work, unable to get to a TV and constantly clicking the refresh button, then you’ll be faced with an even more depressing reality. The website was reporting the news that Gary Neville was unhappy with having to wear a yellow. Which was then followed up by a picture of Gary Neville not wearing the tie but instead having a yellow handkerchief. Pulsating stuff. With hourly updates on what the breaking stories have been, news of Harry Kane’s contract extension had been at the top of every list up until five o’clock. Which is a damning statement on this particular dismal Transfer Deadline Day: its main story isn’t even a transfer or loan, or in fact any way related to their special day.
You’d have to go back to 31 January 2011 to find a Transfer Deadline Day with any shocking transfers
Now obviously not every Transfer Deadline Day has been so gloomy, with summer 2014’s Deadline Day being a particularly busy one. The shock loans of Falcao to Manchester United and Chicharito to Real Madrid came seemingly out of nowhere, while Arsenal managed to sign Welbeck after flirting with the idea of reinforcing their strike-force all summer. All these transfers popped up on Transfer Deadline Day, but before that you’d have to go back to 31 January 2011 to find a Transfer Deadline Day with any shocking transfers. It was on this day that Luis Suárez and Andy Carroll joined Liverpool to replace Fernando Torres, who had switched to Chelsea earlier on in the day.
These exciting and surprising Transfer Deadline Days come every few years. What were we left with in 2015? Watching Norwich try to outbid Burnley for Graham Dorrans.
Images: mirror.co.uk, huffingtonpost.co.uk, @PaddyPower Twitter