The Money Shot – transfer deadline day

Image of Jim White
A change is gonna come
"Truly earth-shattering deals have been thin on the ground"
  • | by Kristian Dando

When the transfer window was officially introduced by Fifa in 2003, few would have predicted the monster the globe-straddling football administration body would end up creating.

In just a few years, the simple movement of workers between employers became a grandiose, box-office event. Actually, perhaps that was their intention all along…

But thus far, the winter transfer window has been a disappointingly sedate affair, perhaps because of the restrictions of Financial Fair Play.

Truly earth-shattering deals have been thin on the ground and, even more disappointingly, sightings of Harry Redknapp hob-nobbing with reporters from the window of his Range Rover outside the QPR club gates are at a premium.

Still, that won’t stop thousands of transfer-crazed soccer fanatics taking the day off work – officially or otherwise – so they can watch all the ‘excitement’ unfold on telly while updating their game of Fifa on the PlayStation in real time.

So, it seems perfectly fitting that Sky – so instrumental in turning the end of the window into a can’t-miss spectacle with its 24-hour rolling coverage and gleeful, frothing hype – has launched a petition to make it into a national holiday via Democracy in action there, friends.

But, as Sky giveth, Sky taketh away. There will be no repeat of the shocking scenes of the last transfer window, where reporters desperately clung onto their dignity as their broadcasts were disrupted by packs of banter-fuelled supporters brandishing increasingly rude objects at the camera.

This time around there’ll be none of that silliness as Sky's front-line team will be ensconced safely in the grounds, tucked away from all the heckling. Tragically, some might argue…

To get more on the inner workings of transfer deadline day, we got on the blower to Graham Thomas, roving journalist extraordinaire, who reported on Cardiff City's transfer dealings on deadline day in 2013 for Sky Sports... with the interesting subplot of the biggest deal ever coming to town in the background.

“It was the day Gareth Bale signed for Real Madrid,” recalls Graham. “I started the day at 06:00 in the Vale of Glamorgan, at the Cardiff City training ground. We then moved on to the Cardiff City Stadium.

"Then it was over to the Wales team hotel for Bale to come back from Madrid. Wales were playing an international that week and he was required to report back for duty from Madrid after he signed. Since I was in Cardiff, Sky wanted to see if I could get an interview with him. It was an 18-hour day, but we eventually got the footage of Bale walking into the team hotel.

"We tried getting the interview, but were told that it would be pretty unlikely. But as Bale walked by, I asked him if he had a quick word for the Sky cameras. He just came over and said ‘Hi!’.”

So, spare a thought for those guys and girls out in the cold for hours on end, busting a gut to bring you the latest on Sunderland's quest to sign a back-up holding midfielder this Monday. Because sports reporters are for life, not just transfer deadline day.

Will you be tuning in to transfer deadline day? Tell us what you’re looking forward to on Twitter or Facebook

News in brief

Tech giant Apple made loads of money. LOADS.

Despite those recent price cuts, energy companies are actually more loathed than banks, according to a bit of research by the Guardian.

UK house price growth continues to sloooooooowwwwww, according to Nationwide.

Mature insurance specialist Saga has snapped up motorbike cover company Bennetts.

On Covered mag this week

Button for sauce tab

We dive head first into the great British sauce debate – which do you prefer, ketchup or brown sauce?

Better budgeting: here’s how to do it.

We mulled over whether home emergency cover was worth it or not.

Join us next Friday for another gripping edition of the Money Shot. In the meantime, send us your thoughts and comments