DUFFERS' DIARIES: Transfer Deadline Day TV coverage is so bad, it’s good

I’m writing this with Tuesday’s Transfer Deadline Day in full swing, with a certain rolling sports news channel on in the background consisting of a load of journalists, ex-footballers and a frankly alarming number of podcast presenters giving their opinions on who is signing for who and for how much.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 1:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 1:56 pm
Manchester United hope Cristiano Ronaldo, confirmed as a new signing on deadline day, will be more effective than the version in the crowd at Molineux last weekend.

I’ve always found Deadline Day, and the coverage of it, a bit of a weird phenomenon, whether it’s the August one which is generally more exciting, or the one at the end of January which basically tends to feature this player joining that club on loan until the end of the season, perhaps with ‘a view to a permanent transfer’.

I’m not against the concept of the transfer window, nor do I dislike the deadline days themselves – especially if the club I support takes the opportunity to kick out some deadwood and bring in a new signing who will be out of favour by January.

And of course, for those who follow non-league football as many readers of these pages do, it’s irrelevant given players can be signed at any time in the lower levels of the game.

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It’s the coverage of it which seems to simultaneously leave me annoyed yet also fascinated enough to keep it on, in the hope that some incredible transfer somehow not picked up by the hoards on Twitter etc happens at 10.59pm, as often used to occur before social media became as much of a thing.

I’m basically watching the aforementioned experts largely filling time talking inane rubbish until something breaks that’s worth handing over to a bored reporter next to a training ground for, who then confirms that a right-back everyone had forgotten about has signed for a Dutch second division club.

In fairness, there are some big deals potentially going through this year so it’s giving them a bit more to talk about, although I’ve also heard the phrase ‘isn’t going anywhere’ 350 times in the last hour.

Mainly though, it’s been a flow of ex-players sat in their living rooms on a Zoom call to the studio, leaving us more interested in what their houses look like than what they’ve got to say about Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United that hasn’t already been said.

And yet, that channel is staying firmly on, thank you very much.