There’s something happening over on social media at the moment. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It lurks around every corner, and seeps into every crevice of ‘football Twitter’. That’s right, it’s transfer announcement videos.
In what feels like a battle to out-cringe each other, football teams across England seem to be coming up new and er, inventive, ways to unveil their latest signing. Gone are the days of posing on the pitch with your ma or your girlfriend, or holding a prop which is vaguely linked to your name or playing style.
Ah, look! Kevin Keegan is sat on row ‘KK’. Do you get it?! You just don’t get that sort of wit and class nowadays.
Anyway, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where these videos started. It could have been Adidas ft. Stormzy’s announcement of Paul Pogba last season, which features a lot of dabbing and, to be fair, two of the biggest current stars in their field. But somehow, by this season, these videos have turned into official dick-measuring competitions. So it only makes sense for us to pick out the worst – or best, depending which way you look at it – of the bunch.
CAPTAIN. LEADER. VILLAIN. ERM?
We’ll get straight into it and not save the best til’ last. The boys at Aston Villa decided to announce their signing of one of the world’s most hated footballers by using a fake WhatsApp conversation.
In the group, amongst others, there were; Manager Steve Bruce, owner Dr Tony Xia, Gabby Agbonglahor and Paul McGrath. The trembling climax of the video saw John Terry suggest he’d take the number 26 shirt off Jontathon Kodija.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) July 3, 2017
To be fair, the numbers on this one were pretty damn impressive, despite plenty of users describing it as the ‘the worst thing I have ever seen.’ I suppose, if you’re going to announce Terry, why not make it almost as odious as the man himself?
Next up is this glorious piece of art from Stoke City. It features Josh Tymon self-announcing his own transfer, while simultaneously looking as though he’s being kept at the Britannia against his will. Sadness in his eyes, you might say.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) July 5, 2017
Our personal highlight of this one is that slow thumbs up. It actually had me laughing out-loud, though I’m not sure it was the reaction they were after.
This one borders on being totally naff, and well, actually pretty well executed. It shows Liverpool’s latest signing, Mo Salah, scrolling through hundreds of “Announce Salah!” tweets on his phone. The real thrill comes when Salah then announces himself, with a little wave which is a perfect mix of Mr. Bean and me when my Uber arrives.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 22, 2017
It’s obviously a little bit cringey, but as they go, this is far from the worst. Plus, that wave is quite endearing.
Location, Location, Location
Yeovil Town’s announcement of Jake Gray is surprisingly really good. It’s innovative, and uses everyone’s favourite ex-stalking Snapchat feature. It may not have the reams of likes, retweets and replies which some of the Premier League clubs have, but it’s also considerably less vomit-inducing.
— Yeovil Town FC (@YTFC) June 26, 2017
Bravo, Yeovil. You successfully announced a player without making your fans want to gauge their own eyeballs out.
MACCIE D’S FC
This one isn’t a video, but they say a picture speaks a thousand words. And this one does, with a portion of large fries on the side.
ICYMI | We are delighted to announce Matt Paterson has joined ahead of the 2017/18 season pic.twitter.com/SyUHAf5jiM
— Oxford City FC (@OxCityFC) June 2, 2017
Conference side Oxford City announced Matt Paterson by getting the lad to sign his contract in a McDonald’s. It’s the sort of art that makes the Mona Lisa look like a Microsoft Paint creation. Frankly, we think this should become standard practice. Olivier Giroud signing his contract inside a Toby Carvery, or Alvaro Morata putting pen to paper on Curry Night in Wetherspoons.
Now, Manchester United are no rookies to the announcement game. As we mentioned earlier, alongside Adidas they announced Pogba like it was a blockbuster movie. Aside from the Stormzy video, they also coined the hashtag “#PogBack”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 10, 2017
Their latest big reveal used “#RedRom” and features Romelu Lukaku standing on a red carpet, at the side of a swimming pool in Los Angeles. Or maybe it’s in the hills of Salford, we’re not too sure. We’re not really sure what on earth is going on here at all, but on balance, it’s not cringey and doesn’t even include the word ‘announce’. So that’s always a plus.
The worst one of all
Hold tight, because this one from Chelsea announcing their new signing Antonio Rudiger is something else. It makes all of the other transfer announcements look like weaklings, and as tough as it was to pick the worst one, I’d say this takes the gold medal.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 9, 2017
The video sees a Dad take his poor son into the Chelsea club shop, so he can get a new 17/18 kit with a name on the back. He was prepared to be the freshest lad at school by having Rudiger’s name on his strip, the envy of all his classmates in fact.
The shop assistant heads into the backroom, and doesn’t seem remotely alarmed that the new signing is stood there in the dark. She asks whether or not it’s okay for the small child to have his name on a shirt, to which he goes for the double thumbs up, the ultimate signal of a new signing, and says: “I am a Chelsea player now.”
Of course, the little kid runs off with his Dad and his new clobber, before his favourite team released this video online and he probably became the laughing stock of the playground.
Reading announced Jaap Stam’s new contract by rhyming his name with Batman, and animating his big bald head. It’s majestic, and it makes you feel a little bit like you’ve ingested some hard hallucinogenics.
So Reading FC made this to celebrate Jaap Stam's new contract, and we're not sure how it makes us feel… pic.twitter.com/k0xwwY31mD
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 5, 2017
We like it, or at least we think we do.
Not from England this time, but AS Roma announced Lorenzo Pellegrini’s return by channelling the dreams of a teenage boy in his bedroom. Yep, they paired transfer announcements on Twitter with video games.
— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) June 30, 2017
They, rather impressively, mocked up Pelligrini as a Roma player in FIFA17 and had him bang a goal into the top corner from the edge of the box. We just wish they’d played Roma v Lazio instead of versus themselves, to kick-off a bit of pre-season aggro.
James Bond (Rodriguez)
The latest of the bunch, and one we’re all big fans of. Simply because it rips off the best headline of all time. It comes from Bayern Munich’s US Twitter account.
— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) July 11, 2017
Bayern swooped in to sign the star, after a good few weeks of speculation he was heading to the Premier League, on a two-year loan deal with the option to sign. But most of that is irrelevant, when you have him stood in a suit with a ‘casey’ football, as they used to be known as in Manchester.