7 Reasons to be Glad That The Transfer Window Has Closed
Hurrah! It’s finally over! And here are seven reasons to be glad that it is.
1. There’ll Be More News. The 24 hour rolling football will finally stop and news stations and channels will carry actual news: Proper news; vital news; weighty news of great import, historical gravity and epoch-defining momentousness. For all we know, Beyonce could be pregnant and because of the transfer deadline day absolutely no one in the world will have heard about it. Also, Colonel Gaddafi could still be hiding in a tunnel somewhere, possibly in Libya. Literally anything could be happening out there and we wouldn’t know because of the seemingly endless saga of will he/won’t he buy him, will he/won’t he join them and David Ngog? Hahahahahahaha!!!! Let’s find out what’s happening in the world.
2. There’ll Be Less Bullshit, Rumour, Bullshit, Bullshit and Bullshit. There’s a saying in motor sport: When the flag drops, the bullshit stops, but there isn’t enough fabric in the world to make enough flags to stop all of the falsity, mendacity and unabashed calumny that makes up the speculation on transfer deadline day. And even if there were, there wouldn’t be enough seamstresses to sew them, poles to fly them from and this analogy stops here as it’s making the writing part of my head hurt. It seems that absolutely anyone can say absolutely anything and get it reported by ordinarily sensible yet temporarily scoop-frenzied news organisations (and Sky) on transfer deadline day. You would think there would be a limited number of Dan’s cousin’s osteopath’s brother’s friend Terrys that could possibly be at an airport terminal or a motorway service station to witness Sol Campbell (who by my reckoning is now at least eight thousand years old) heading off to one training ground or another, but apparently there aren’t. Dan’s cousin’s osteopath’s brother’s friend Terry achieves absolute omnipresence on transfer deadline day as does Yossi Benayoun who, according to Dan’s cousin’s osteopath’s brother’s friend Terry has now signed for at least six clubs and consumed twelve different flavours of Ginsters pasties at various motorway service stations across the land. And every word of this gets reported in every medium by every organisation reporting on the looming transfer deadline. Benjamin Disraeli said that there are“…lies, damned lies, and statistics”, but he never experienced a transfer deadline day. On transfer deadline day there are no statistics.
3. Arsenal Fans Will Seem Less Mad. If you’re of the opinion that Arsene Wenger has lost the plot in recent months with his bizarre refusal to sign any football player that is both over the age of twenty and has a spine, you could be seen to have a valid point. But Wenger’s reluctance to spend his football club’s money buying football players for their football team has made such blubbering wrecks of the supporters that Mr Wenger himself seems like the sanest man in the world (except David Dimbleby) in comparison to them. I’ve experienced this myself as, while I don’t support a Premier League club, I think that a strong and competitive Arsenal team is a lovely thing to watch and makes the Premier League competition far more exciting. Today I’ve frequently found myself foaming at the mouth and bellowing “Buy him! Buy him! Buy him!” This happens whenever Dan’s cousin’s osteopath’s brother’s friend Terry spots any footballer with at least one and a half working legs and the ability to grow even the sparsest of beards within a hundred mile radius of North London. The combination of Arsene Wenger’s parsimony and transfer deadline day have contrived to turn me into a babbling idiot (even more so than usual). It must be so much worse for those that actually care: Those poor people also have to bellow “Sell him! Sell him! Sell him!” whenever Nicklas Bendtner’s name is mentioned. It must be hell for them.
4. We’ll Rediscover Words. How often do you hear your own name said out loud? A couple of times a day? Ten times a day? It might be more if you’re gregarious or popular, I wouldn’t know. One thing I do know though, is that if your name is Scott Parker you’ll have heard it said out loud more often than anyone else in the entire history of humanity. Anyone that has watched a sport bulletin between May and September (that period we refer to ironically as “the summer”) this year will have heard the words Scott and Parker more times than they’ll have heard the words if, it, bit, but, the, a, dog and salamander combined. Oh, and and. Craig David has heard his name said out loud fewer times than Scott Parker has and he spends his entire life singing it at people.
5. We’ll Be Less Baffled. My wife knows less about football than I know about the female orgasm. Of the sea otter. And when she turned to me today and wearily asked “Why do they always leave it until the last minute?” I loftily dismissed her amateur enquiry and, in a knowledgeable and not un-patronising tone replied, “It’s because…”. That’s as far as I got. Because when the transfer window is open from the end of the previous season until the end of August, it’s absolutely barmy to be trying to buy a player (that the selling club usually need to replace) minutes before the window shuts. The buying club won’t find a bargain as the seller will be far more reluctant to sell them at that time and they won’t get a pre-season to help them settle into the squad. There is no level on which leaving buying a footballer until the last minute makes any sense. Unless it’s the same level on which Jedward are entertaining and Nando’s is a desirable place to go for dinner, in which case it makes all the sense in the world. More probably. All of the sense everywhere. Even the sense in the cupboard under the stairs and the sense that has dropped out of your trouser pockets and fallen down the back of the sofa. Am I still making sense? No? There, that’s how much sense leaving it until the last minute makes.
6. We Will All Be Safe. It’s okay. Really, it’s alright now. We can all breathe a deep sigh of relief and relax as we’re all perfectly safe now. Though it does seem that their strategy is to buy absolutely everyone in the world, there are rules and regulations to deal with that sort of thing and if you haven’t already been purchased by Manchester City (something that is worth checking), you won’t have to worry until January. I’ve spent much of the last month absolutely terrified that I’m going to get signed and dragged off to Manchester to play football in the rain, but I seem to have escaped. My five month old son (who can nearly stand up unaided) seems to have slipped the net too. We got off lightly, as it seems that they’ve even resorted to raiding hospitals to find players to sign.
7. Football Will Be About Football. Remember when football was about football? That wondrous, gilded, golden-age when football wasn’t about finance, negotiation, and acquisition? When it was about sport and not business? Now that the window’s slammed firmly shut, those of us that want to see business (and who amongst us doesn’t find watching a meeting utterly thrilling?*) can watch Dragon’s Den or The Apprentice and those of us that like football can watch football which is a sport, not a bunch of self-centred prima-donnas making utter cocks of themselves for our entertainment. Oh, it turns out that it is. Still, it’ll be nice change from all of the business. Until it all starts again in three months. Bugger.
*Yes, it’s me.