The Deadline Day Debate

The transfer window is now very much a part of football. It does exactly what it says on the tin, in that it dictates when clubs can buy and sell players. Like anything, it has it’s good points, along with it’s bad ones. ‘Deadline Day’ signals the end of it all; and with it some of the most memorable moments in the football season. But it’s hardly perfect and some find it un-necessarily over-hyped.

I’ll start, like a lot of football fans, with it’s negatives. Just let me first ask you this.

Why should a transfer be allowed to go through today, but not tomorrow? Or even, why should it be allowed to be completed, at 17:59 and not 18:01? It’s ludicrous.

It’s probably quite difficult for fans of other sports to understand. Because of the way ‘Deadline Day’ is built up, managers find themselves scrambling about buying players at over-inflated prices; the same players they could have bought at any time in the previous two months. It allows players to demand high wages, with clubs threatened with the idea of missing out.

In my opinion, it causes a lot of the inflation in football. Look at Berbatov’s move to United a couple of seasons ago; Spurs held out until the last minute to get the maximum fee. It happens all too often; and whilst it makes interesting television for Sky Sports News viewers, it’s costing clubs thousands, millions of pounds everytime the window swings open.

However, I’m not some sort of a philsophical football analyst. I’m simply weighing up the pro’s and con’s. Every football fan loves the event the 31st August is turned into; one of frantic travelling, shock headlines and countless twists and turns, as players no-one even realised were available complete transfers around the country, continent or even the globe.

Today for instance, we were told the story of Ryan Babel’s helicopter flight from Merseyside to London, to meet with Spurs.. or was that West Ham? It seemed his story was over before it began though, and he was soon on a train home. Throughout the day we heard Ghanaian World Cup star Asamoah Gyan was set to be subject of Sunderland’s record-breaking deal, a story surely not too many could have imagined when the African heart-breakingly missed a last minute, World Cup quarter-final penalty.

Inb etween we watched Birmingham bring in former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Hleb, Robinho end his Manchester City farce by joining Milan, Gudjohnsen swap Monaco for Stoke for a year and then, with five minutes, yes MINUTES remaining, we watched in amazement as the story emerged Rafael Van Der Vaart was on his way to Spurs; if they could complete the paper work in time. Even now, hours after the deadline has passed, we await it’s climax. What would probably be the coup of the summer if the price is as quoted (£8m), no-one seems sure, nor completely aware, where the transfer is at.

And perhaps that is the magic of the transfer window, or ‘Deadline Day’ at least. The blend of pure frenzy, confusion and surprise, is something football fans have now come to love. And besides, who could go without Sky Sports News presenter Jim White’s shouty confirmation of some of the very best’race-against-the-clock’ deals?

Roll on January 1st.

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