WHAT would you change if you could alter one thing about the beautiful game in the UK?
I know for certain what mine would be. An end to the madness that is the end of August/beginning of September transfer deadline day.
The whole thing has become an integral part of English football, to the point that I actually think Sky Sports prefer their 24-hour parade of transfers and made-up stories to actually covering a match.
It’s that day where we all suspend our disbelief and let our hearts supersede our brains as we dream wistfully of signing a superstar who can take our respective clubs to the mythical next level as one last minute addition transforms us into contenders.
It’s the football fans’ equivalent of Christmas Day except unless you are a Chelsea, Man City or Man United fan, chances are you’ll find yourselves on the naughty list and will end up with a lump of coal instead (and I don’t mean Carlton).
The entire production is utterly absurd, from the newsroom with touch screens regurgitating the same story over and over as “Sky sources,” break up periods with less news by finding exciting new lines that they themselves shoot down some time later (almost as if they were never true to begin with).
Then there are the super fans, the ones that are so desperate to know who they might sign they do the only sensible thing which is descend on their clubs’ training ground to gurn gormlessly in the background as ‘our reporters are the grounds’ bring you an update that indeed, nothing is still happening. I’d ban them from going to actual games on the grounds that they are super, super sad.
But don’t despair, because Jim White is on the way, the Santa Claus of this crazy Christmas party.
Jim White is a fine broadcaster, but the fact he’s become synonymous with a day of hype and tripe does him a disservice, “breaking news and it’s a big one,” will probably be the inscription on his tombstone.
So what do I propose instead?
It couldn’t be more simple.
The transfer deadline should be at the end of July, long before the season starts here or in any other major European league.
Every club in the land should have to do their business before the campaign begins, to enhance the integrity of the sport and to ensure the best prepared and managed teams ultimately reap the greatest rewards, and you can still have your mad deadline day excitement.
I won’t hold my breath though.