1. The tedious and protracted, summer-long transfer saga
Every summer since the window was introduced there is always one transfer that seems to dominate the headlines and drag on all summer long. By the time the player in question finally signs for the potential suitors (usually in late August!), we’re all just happy to be put out of our misery so we don’t have to hear about it anymore. This year it’s Gareth Bale going to Real, in the past it’s been the likes of Tevez, Berbatov, Fabregas and Ronaldo. We all know they’re going to end up going eventually, just be nice if we didn’t have to hear about it all summer long.
2. Closing two weeks after the season starts
It’s bad enough that we have a window these days, but can someone please explain to me why in the blue hell we have a transfer window that closes two whole weeks after the season starts?! The whole debacle breeds nothing but chaos and uncertainty as players who are looking to move sit in a huff whilst their protracted transfers drag on until deadline day. All the while, the other teams spend the closing days looking over their shoulders in case someone higher up the food chain poaches their best player before they have time to replace them. Come deadline day, it all ends up like a massive game of pass the parcel as players move from club to club until some poor bugger is left a player short come midnight.
3. Sky Sports Deadline Day coverage
Remember the days before Sky Sport’s hijacking of transfer deadline day when all it involved was checking teletext sometime in mid-Mach to see if your club had brought in any late reinforcements!? Oh how I miss those days. Nowadays we have to put up with a full day of Sky Sports giving it big licks as someone with four mobile phones tells us who’s currently en-route to where, Niall Quinn and Simon Jordan give us chairman’s punditry and a chap with a giant iPad gives us an hourly running total of cash spent so far. The whole thing makes me want to boil my head. The really bad thing is that all this isn’t even the worst of it, first of all we have to put up with this rabble…
4. The Walking Dead outside the grounds
You can’t help but feel sorry for them, the poor sods made to stand outside a designated stadium or training ground all day waiting for the club to drip feed them transfer news. At first glance it doesn’t seem like too bad of a gig for the reporters; that is until you factor in all the local loons who then descent upon them like extras from The Walking Dead. Its seemingly isn’t deadline day anymore without a frightened journalist standing outside the Britannia trying to update us all, whilst simultaneously trying to fend off the advances of the local natives clambering all over him as they celebrate the signing of Wilson Palacios. And if all that wasn’t bad enough, we get then this…
5. Jim White
I literally think that there is no one on television who gets on my wick more than this buffoon. As Sky Sports’ deadline day coverage has grown into the insufferable monster it has become, so has Jim White’s ego. Jim just stated off as just another Sky Sports newsreader but these days he’s evolved into some sort of bizarre parody of himself guiding us all through the last few hours of the window. On deadline day he is actually filmed arriving in the building, leather satchel in hand, on the blower pretending to be discussing a transfer with a very important contact. Now I’m sure it’s a calculated move by Sky to make him into some sort of Ron Burgandy-esque head anchorman rather Jim’s own work, but my god doesn’t he love it! Well I’m glad he does because I certainly don’t.
6. Twitter rumours
Since the dawning of time there has always been ridiculous football transfer rumours, you know the sort “my neighbour’s mate’s dad saw Roberto Carlos at the airport”. The arrival of Twitter has now taken it to a whole new level. Every day there are more and more rumours about seemingly every player and club in the world. Twitter is chocablock with wannabe journalists, people claiming to be ‘in the know’ and fans with hair-brain theories filling up our timelines with their own nuggets of wisdom. It’s hard to know what to believe, my solution? Take it all with a pinch of salt until I see said player physically holding up his new shirt.
7. The window ‘slamming shut’
Apparently the transfer window no longer closes, it ‘slams shut’. Another seemingly modern day phrase, probably injected in to the public psyche by Sky Sports with their usual overly dramatic style. I am ashamed to say that I have even found myself describing the window as ‘slamming shut’ in other articles; I now publicly apologise for this heinous error and vow never to use the phrase again.
8. ‘Arry Redknapp
You can only imagine how gutted the media are that Redknapp is no longer in the Premier League during the window. No more press conferences/old wives clubs where Harry holds court over a cuppa and has a good old chin-wag. Always happy to answer every question thrown at him; usually with an ulterior motive and always more than happy to talk about another team’s player if it means it could possibly unsettle them. Come deadline day poor old Sky Sports won’t know what to do with themselves without ‘Arry’s mug sticking out the side of Kevin Bond’s Land Rover throwing them transfer titbits. Hallelujah.
9. A summer spent signing no one
From a strictly personal point of view as a Newcastle fan, one of the most frustrating things about the summer period is watching all the teams around us spend heavily on improving and developing their squads whilst Scrooge McDuck, erm…I mean Mike Ashley, sits counting his money. Every summers the same, all and sundry sign Europe’s top talents whilst we do nothing but negotiate over a couple of grand for a player with a year left on his contract before pulling the plug on the whole deal and leaving us with just Shola until January. Same old story every year.
10. The last day flood of transfers
The clubs have all summer long to get their business done, yet window after window, it always comes down to a last day avalanche of moves. I understand that transfers can be games of brinkmanship, and in turn often be drawn out affairs, but good grief, the fact that a deal can hinge on whether a fax has been sent before the clock strikes midnight on deadline day is just mental (and who even uses faxes these days anyway?!). Providing a team isn’t relegated, why those running their clubs cannot do all their all business over the spring, and have all their deals in place ready to be signed once the windows re-opens in summer is beyond me. Poor Jim White would be out of a job if it was that simple though, god forbid!