The slow death of Deadline Day: whatever happened to the sex toys?

The transfer deadline used to be a biannual jamboree of football's frivolous frittering away of time and money, where's all the fun gone?


Settling down yesterday afternoon in hot anticipation for the final few hours of Transfer Deadline Day, I had had tender images of purple dildos, inflatable sex-dolls and a plum faced ‘Arry Redknapp passing excitedly through my mind. Ultimately, what I had to endure instead was real football talk, the day’s tired pick-me-up, drop-me-down rumours and a complete lack of anything smirk-raising at all.

It was a huge disappointment.

Then again, our once beloved Deadline Day has been a huge disappointment for years now. Sky Sports made a colossal mistake when they shipped their army of freshly charged robo-reporters inside the tedious confines of a club’s training ground, dully shielding them away from the glorious hoard of idle teenagers hurling abuse over their mate’s shoulder and yelling yobbish obscenities carefully designed to get full banter bragging rights back at school.

Because no one – not one single person – watches Deadline Day for the real-time updates, totalisers or manically ticking countdowns. In fact, we tend to force ourselves through what can often be quite a painful affair, full of screaming yellow garments, empty encouragement to stay with us and Jim bloody White gleefully gurning at the suggestion some Premier League youth teamer may be going on loan to League 1 for six months.

The experience can, in no uncertain terms, be utterly torturous.

We expect to get something back for all this pain, right? At least we used to have Kate Abdo’s pleasant company and easy charm to carry us along towards the deadline. Now we’ve Merse.

NORTHAMPTON – JULY 26: Paul Merson of Walsall in action during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Northampton Town and Walsall held on July 26, 2003 at the Sixfields Stadium, in Northampton, England. Northampton Town won the match 2-0. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images) has the latest Premier League and Champions League odds

Deadline Day used to be one of the few times in the year when being steaming drunk at three in the afternoon was acceptable. The DD Drinking Game, of course, clearly states that two fingers must be sunk for every reference to ‘Sky Sources’ heard. If that’s not joy, we don’t know what is. It used to be a day to take off work, to get excited for; to forge moments of hilarity in the annals of footballing brilliance.

It used to be a day for supporters. It’s become a monster, a dim reflection of its former glory having cut out the fun-lovin’ people who made it so special: the fans.

In all seriousness, the hype surrounding Deadline Day itself is a pretty daft concept.

Clubs have weeks to prepare and finalise transfers and getting excited on a school night is seldom rewarded by a big, last minute signing. Even if they did become commonplace, we’ve all got Twitter now, haven’t we? Staring at Sky through bleary eyes whilst battling thoughts of unrelenting bleakness is no longer necessary.

It all hits home just how bleak the event has become.

Media crews record the arrival of the herse carrying the remains of late Fiorentina football team captain Davide Astori at the cemetary in Coverciano training ground on March 7, 2018 in Florence.
Italian footballer Davide Astori likely died from a cardiac arrest linked to the slowing of his heart rate following the initial results of his autopsy. Fiorentina and Astori’s former club Cagliari announced they will retire his number 13 shirt in honour of the 31-year-old Italy international, who was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday ahead of a Serie A football match in Udine. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

There’s only one way to save this dying day of nationwide celebration: give the fans back what they want. The solution isn’t focussing on football, it’s not really transfer news and it’s definitely not an energetic Scot with a mouth like an industrial sized foghorn.

No, we’re a nation of simple pleasures and we know what we want.

With that in mind, on behalf of the common populace, we’ll say this with the utmost sincerity: dear Sky, give the people back their day. And give us back our purple dildos. The existence of one football’s most celebrated events depends on it.

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