The genius of Transfer Deadline Day

Closing of transfer window often low on reality but high on entertainment as football media has a field day.

“So, as it stands – where do you stand on where stands right now?” 

A typical exchange between a presenter and correspondent on Transfer Deadline Day, or as one of the UK’s more excitable sports broadcasters calls it – TDD.

Ever since it was introduced by FIFA in the 2002-03 season, TDD (that’s what I’m calling it from now on, too) has become the most exciting, entertaining day in the football calendar. 

It’s more exciting than pretty much every World Cup final since 1990 (I’ll admit 2006 was pretty exciting).  What’s more, we get two of them, the end of the pre-season transfer window and the mid-season transfer window.

These two dates represent the last time clubs can buy or sell players. It was brought in to make coaching and tactics more important than whichever club had the most money. The theory being, if you can’t simply buy anyone you want, anytime you want, it forces you to work with the players you’ve got.

Unexpected benefit

The unexpected benefit to all of this is the hysterically funny rumour mill that goes into overdrive, especially with the English Premier League. 

The proliferation of 24 hour news channels, sports channels, social networking sites etc has meant the movements, real or imaginary (often the latter) of players is public knowledge almost immediately. 

Whether or not the player is actually joining a new club is almost irrelevant, it’s the rumour that’s often more interesting.

Sky’s the limit

For Sky Sports News in the UK, TDD is Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Eid and Diwali all rolled into one.  They love it, it gives them the chance to send out reporters and make them stand outside the car parks of various Premier League clubs for 12 hours. 

My favourite is the January 31st TDD, as its freezing and the comedy value of watching a reporter slowly turn blue is just brilliant.

Also like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Eid and Diwali, there are traditions with TDD that must be observed.

1. Must have Spurs boss Harry Redknapp giving an interview from his car with him saying “we’re not interested in buying anyone” (hmm Rafael Van der Vaart anyone?)

2. Shots of player being driven away from club at speed with correspondent running after him shouting questions that are ignored.

3. Reporter informing us that “My source at the club tells me that will definitely not be joining and at no stage has he ever wanted to leave . “

So he’s basically saying that they’ve been reporting a rumour that they can exclusively reveal isn’t true…see what I mean, brilliant!

Good for football?

There are some naysayers who think TDD should be scrapped. Steve Coppell is one of those, the former Reading and Crystal Palace manager claiming, “It brings on a fire-sale mentality, causes unrest via the media and means clubs buy too many players.”

This might well be true, as I write this Sky Sports News say that Liverpool have just agreed a fee of more than $56 million with Newcastle for Andy Carroll, to replace the outgoing Fernando Torres. That’s more than what Barcelona paid Valencia for David Villa.

But Steve, without TDD you wouldn’t get shots of helicopters flying players in, big black Mercedes driving players out, hordes of fans mobbing a new player, a couple of fans burning the shirt of an old one.

Insane yes…brilliant television…absolutely.

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