Frantically racing up the M1 to clinch a last-minute deal with a much coveted striker. Feverish excitement around the country as fans wait the latest news on who their club has signed with bated breath. Managers faxing details of their signing through to the FA at the last minute on a balmy March day. How we remember Transfer Deadline Days of yore. How we miss their outdated and outmoded practices which sadly no longer remain.
Except, that is, the practice of sending faxes. It appears the FA are stuck in a perennial state of 1993 where modems are the stuff of science fiction, shell suits are fashionable, 2 Unlimited are setting the world alight with their soporific lyrics and fax machines are considered must-haves among the more technologically-aware corporations. Strange to think that in 2010, the Football Association insists that all communications are sent via fax rather than via emails. This includes faxing details of impending transfers and requesting press passes to various footballing events hosted by the FA.
And frankly the communication preferences of the Football Association are slightly less dull than the goings on of the summer transfer deadline day of 2010, no matter what Sky Sports News will have you believe. With the season already around three weeks old, most clubs will have completed the majority of their transfer dealings in time for the start of the season. A couple of mildly intriguing deals may go through today, but the days of football fans being glued to the Teletext in the hope of receiving some interesting news is long gone.
It’s not so much the lack of transfer activity itself which leads to the banality of the whole affair, it’s more the fact that you cannot move for news sites providing minute-by-minute countdowns until the minute when the transfer window “SLAMS” (it’s never shut quietly or gently) shut. A quick look at the Transfer Clockwatch on Skysports.com reveals such nuggets as MK Dons releasing a player on a free transfer, Barcelona’s Seydou Keita signing a new contract (which would appear to be the very opposite of transfer news) and speculation regarding Middlesbrough preparing a “beat-the-deadline swoop” for a Celtic midfielder. The last bit of news adding weight to the theory that Gordon Strachan is moving Celtic and Rangers to the English leagues player by player.
It’s not so much the mind-numbingness of the news on offer, it’s that much of it isn’t news at all. Players who might possibly could be may be considering a proposed move to a club isn’t news. It’s pub talk. Without the beer. But then, after a deadline day that gave us Tevez and Mascherano moving to West Ham, could any deadline day possibly live up to those heights? I’m afraid Marcus Bent joining Wolves on loan just doesn’t cut it, no matter how much the Yellow Ticker of Importance tries to tell us on Sky Sports News.