Ten things you need to know about transfer deadline day....
- Credit: PA
It's deadline day, as if you didn't know. It's a day mired in wild goose chases, grown men leaning out of car door windows and people making strange faces all for the sake of TV cameras outside of club training ground.
So, in case you need any help getting through the day, here's a list of 10 things that might give you a clue as to what is going on.
The local supermarket
Grab a trolley, throw some of the usual stuff in it, and then wander the aisles. They will be inhabited, if social media is not telling porkies, by prospective signings who, with their family, will be checking the local food suppliers before making a decision on joining your club. This is one of the only true facts of the transfer window:
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Those of you with you children will notice they will go to bed early. They will eschew any offers of food and drink, unless it can be slipped underneath the door. As the evening goes on, they will pretend to be asleep, perhaps in a Ferris Bueller-type way. But beware, they are on pinkun.com, sating their desire for every last morsel of news. They will work by torchlight. But don't worry, when the chimes of Big Ben strike 11, they will go to sleep.
It would not be right for a transfer window to go by without mention of the former Metz, Monaco, Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace player. At the age of 32 you would have thought he'd had enough of moving, but there's life in those legs yet (although don't expect it to still be there in a month's time when he loses interest in his new club).
There will be a point in the day when you wonder why your manager is buying players for a League Two team. When you investigate, you will find yourself in the middle of a mass fight over hashtags. Norwich City fans will claim ownership of #ncfc, as will Notts County fans. Then there is North Carolina FC who, although they don't have a transfer window, will no doubt be happy to grab some free publicity by elbowing in.
Car sales soar
It's not just footballers, chief executives and managers who are busy boys. Agents are the people who generally engineer the moves. And the cost of that is high. These people are in the super league for earnings. Some of them are superstars themselves. They have a bad name, it's unavoidable. But you can spot them – big, slick cars, made in big slick factories costing, big, slick bucks.
'It never happened in my day. Players used to travel to games on the same trains as us and most of them didn't even earn as much as they could down the pit/in the factor/on the milk round. Our Pat used to live next to the centre-forward - their step was always clean you know. Nowadays they'll have someone do it for them.'
Harry Redknapp's preferred interview tool on deadline day always was the car window. As he arrived at the training ground (or once, as he left home) he'd wind it down and gladly have a five-minute chat with a reporter. Any reporter. Anyone. Despite taking umbrage at being called a wheeler-dealer, he was. And he still is. Even if he isn't a manager. His memory will live on though as fans around the country wind down the car window and do an 'Arry
Peter Odemwingie, in a bizarre attempt to leave West Brom in 2013, the striker drove 120 miles from Birmingham to London trying to force through a move to QPR. He had his photo taken outside the ground and talked of a new chapter. But QPR didn't sign him in time for the 11pm deadline and he had large amounts of egg on face. So, if you see footballers hanging around outside a ground, help them home....
Sky Sports and its 24-hour news coverage is ideal for transfer deadline day, even if it has cranked up expectation levels and pressure to ridiculous heights. But it works for them, and has made a star, of sorts, out of presenter Jim White, and his trademark yellow ties. Why yellow? No idea. Why does he shout? No idea. Why do Sky reporters set themselves up for a fall by standing in the middle of a bunch of fans who sometimes wave unmentionable objects? No idea.
Is that it?
There is a collective groan at 11pm as football fans the country over realise their club didn't spend gazillions on players, that the fresh touch to the dressing room is a washed up 34-year-old brought in on loan. Most clubs will be happy with business, but the fans want to see Maidstone United become Manchester United overnight. It doesn't work like that. Wait until the summer...