This is a reposting of an article I wrote in the build-up to Sky’s coverage of Transfer Deadline Day last summer. As expected Transfer Deadline Day managed to be addictive, compelling and amateurish, occasionally at the same time. You can find my original article here, if you can be bothered.
Normally I’d admonish myself for reblogging one of my own articles. It creates an odd feeling within, where the original piece is shifted into a dispiriting void, fought over by the more lamentable facets of my nature – sheer laziness and conceit.
But this new personal context in which I’ve placed it perfectly sums up the egomaniac essence of Transfer Deadline Day. Since I wrote the piece a year ago very little has changed, and what has been altered has not been for the better. Transfer fees, agent fees and player wages are still escalating, at an unconscionable and immoral rate. Jim White is still alive somehow, and has finally settled on the Silver Fox look. Jimbo’s brand of cocained up stock broker exuberance was always peculiar and mildly off-putting, but now you’re entitled to suspect that Jimbo’s behaviour is entirely an act. He may well have consciously succumbed to his manic-depressive tendencies as a means of suppressing the agonising realisation of how ridiculous he’s had to become to be considered an essential part of this madness, because this is likely to be the pinnacle of his career.
As the picture above exemplifies, the girls are still stunning, almost impossibly so, to the point where you’re happy to watch Sky Sports HQ, as it’s now called, on mute for a good twenty minutes. Eventually not even Kirsty Gallacher, Kate Abdo or Charlie Webster can overcome its garish colour scheme, banal headlines of footballers getting hair transplants and its cascade of advertisement breaks of products belonging to the biggest exploitative businesses around. When combined and concentrated like this it starts to erode the delusional optimism you require to get through the day. It rams home the truth without recourse that, socially and culturally, we’re in terminal decline.
But hey, it’s bright, the new studio is snazzy, and just like any product that’s mired in mediocrity, it’s been rebranded, so it’s great again! And money, loadsa money, is being moved around by grasping cunts and ‘Totalised’, of course. Even better: the grand totem of this comi-tragic charade, ‘Arry, is back in the big time, and due to QPR’s shite start he’s bound to be all up in ‘the action’.
Like any tabloid-esque incarnation, it succeeds because of our compulsive need for addictions, and our need to satiate them. You’re trapped into watching this garbage of mis-information and copius amounts of lazy sourcing (from Twitter) because you care about something that matters that shouldn’t matter this much. In conjunction with social media, Transfer Deadline Day’s existence propagates cravenly self-entitled childish rants by fans on Twitter, who, without fail, will get worked up by watching a show cynically designed to agitate them as their team ‘desperately scrambles’ to get deals done. If you’re one of the more sophisticated (I use this with the deepest irony possible) viewers, you’re no better, as you’ll nervously and hypocritically count down the seconds in quiet agony, hoping that your team isn’t involved in this clusterfuck.
Thankfully it ends, and the world will seem like a better place on the 2nd of September, until you remember it’s only five months until the next Transfer Deadline Day.