So was anyone else driven mad last night by the ‘transfer deadline’? I really thought Dan was going to do himself some kind of damage at one point. I had no idea that television could keep up that level of hysteria for several hours at a time. I felt exhausted by the end of it, and I wasn’t even interested.
For some reason, this event is a ‘big deal’. For anyone that has no idea what I’m talking about, and therefore lives the life I would give Mort’s right ear for, this annual event is the last day that football clubs can buy and sell players. Until they do it again in the winter. And then again the following summer. Until the end of time.
There is more speculation than you would have thought good journalism would allow, and plenty of good old fashioned making things up. Everyone gets suspicious and very jumpy – Dan was eyeing Mort up at one point, as though he half expected him to announce he had a helicopter to catch for a medical at Sunderland.
Mort is a big football fan (one of his favourite pastimes is running on grass, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we can create a £20,000 weekly wage out of this casual hobby). But even he looked cheesed off at the constant shouting and tension.
And I can’t blame him. By the time it got to 10.30pm (half an hour before the deadline) people were randomly shouting footballer’s names, for no apparent reason. One teenager in the crowd randomly cried: “Messi!” at one point. I’m no expert, but dream on kid – even I know that Messi is unlikely to trade Barcelona in for the glistening metropolis that is Stoke. I also loved the one footballer, who, jealous of the attention everyone else was getting, put in a request to be transferred at 10.29pm. I think he just got a little bit carried away. Like your mum used to say, everyone just needed to go and have a little sit down.
But some of the transfers made sense to me. One player called Hargreaves opted to move from Manchester United to Manchester City, which seemed to provoke uproar. Makes sense to me – why schlep your worldly belongings to somewhere at the opposite end of the country when you don’t have to? You never see a footballer player saying: “Yeah, I’m really chuffed about moving from Tottenham to Newcastle. But the relocation is going to be a faff, isn’t it? I’m going to have to transfer all my bills, not to mention buy another house. Don’t get me wrong – I’m looking forward to kicking a piece of leather at a net that looks identical to every other one, for the benefit of fans, who to be quite frank, I don’t give a monkeys about. But don’t get me starting on the property prices. And as for calling Santander…”
But what about Aston Villa, I hear you cry? Well, predictably, we bought some players I had never heard of, for silly amounts of money. Fingers crossed they deliver the standard I have become accustomed to – boring. I bet they ask that in the negotiations: “Do you have it in you to bore the Topshop pants off every woman in the West Midlands who unwittingly attached herself to one of the mugs we flog an overpriced season ticket to? Brilliant, welcome to the team!”