It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when football clubs could sign a new centre half or a goal scorer on any day of the week. An injury to a midfielder on Saturday could spell a raid on another club’s resources on Monday. Then came transfer deadline day. Managers moaned that the lack of manoeuvre it brought tied their hands behind their backs and fans shrugged their shoulders at yet another pointless change of rules.
Not anymore! Today, the August and January transfer deadline days are two of the most anticipated dates in the football calendar. Following a summer of relative inactivity, deadline day brings a frenzy of excitement as players arrive for medicals pursued by the media and speculation mounts about unlikely last minute deals.
Along with this have come a number of new footballing traditions. There are the fans who gather outside training grounds until 11pm waiting to catch a glimpse of new arrivals and be the first to get their shirts signed. Then there are the TV crews pointing their cameras at passing cars which viewers are assured belong to the Premier League star they’ve been “exclusively” predicting would sign all evening.
A growing number of fans are also celebrating transfer deadline day, either at home or in the pub, indulging in drinking games. All they require is access to Sky Sports and a steady stream of alcohol. A glance at the varied rules of these games gives you an idea of what they involve. For example, a new rumour demands one sip (two if it involves your club) while every Premiership or European transfer demands a shot.
So as a day of big money deals gets underway what transfers will fans be toasting? Well West Ham fans can celebrate the arrival of Andy Carroll while it is widely reported that his Liverpool team mate Charlie Adam will sign for Stoke City. Other stories may not be quite as reliable. Arsenal may try to replace Robin van Persie with another European ‘wonder kid’ providing they can get him on the cheap, while QPR are likely to be linked with everyone as Mark Hughes tries to build three teams to avoid relegation.
So, whichever club you support, you can look forward to an evening of frenzied activity as 11pm approaches and the social networks start buzzing with rumours. And if you’re indulging in deadline day drinking games, please drink responsibly and avoid tweeting that you’ve just spotted Wayne Rooney arriving at West Brom.
Will you be celebrating transfer deadline day at home or in a commercial property? Do you have any deadline day rumours you’d like to share? Tell us below.
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