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Fast Food Transfer News

Ross Barkley signed for Villa the other day and there was nearly a collective sigh of relief from supporters all over that nobody knew thing about it. Done, dusted, holding the jersey before Don Fabrizio even had a chance to tell you the player was looking at houses in Birmingham. Generally, what usually happens is: “it’s on”, “it’s off”, “It’s back on”, “talks have stalled”, “talks have resumed” - you get it. There’s people that enjoy reading these stories - amazingly - but if a remote existed similar to the one in the movie Click, where Adam Sandler can fast forward certain aspects of his life, I would press ‘fast forward to transfer window end’ with such ferocity that the remote would break.

There was a day, I’m sure of it, that the transfer window was something that people actually enjoyed and anticipated. My Facebook memories tell me I too spoke about Jim White’s Deadline Day shift on Sky Sports News as if it was Christ himself returning to tell you Andy Carroll was off to Liverpool for £35m. I loved it. Like most things – social media and fast food news has probably ruined it. All your favourite things become diluted in the nonsense because it’s an area where everyone just wins. Clicks, Retweets, Likes. All cash, baby. “Player is en route!” Not true? Who cares! Mention Manchester United alongside a player: The agent wins – he gets his player the contract or club he wants as the other club shits itself and offers improved terms. The source ‘breaking’ the news wins - because they get more clicks and exposure. The addicted transfer junkie wins because they got their fix. The only people losing is the relatively ‘sane’ - but they don’t pay in the world of fast food transfer service, and cash is king.

Depending what side of the coin you’re sitting at – I’m just about old enough to remember the introduction of the transfer window. Or, conversely, young enough to have very few memories of it. In the inquisitive nature of a child, at the introduction I asked a family member what is this madness that Sky Sports news keep banging on about. He was dismayed by it, as at that time, if your team was badly stuck for reinforcements in March they could do something about it immediately. The benefits to this are there, but in hindsight, thank Christ the window was introduced. Imagine the madness of what you see now all year round? At least now you probably see one month’s peace - immediately after Sky Sports dramatically announce the window has SHUT – as if this fictitious term was a physical window you could potentially catch your fingers in.

“Right. There’s a transfer window now. I get that.” I moved on from there to base the idea of a transfer off maybe FIFA 2003? Career mode – you’ve money in the bank. Nice one. Press the button – bang. Zidane partners Roy Keane in the heart of the Wigan midfield. To my horror in both life and the next FIFA update, this wasn’t actually the case. There were infinitely more complications involved, and for a significant period of time I looked on with envy at Chelsea firing money at lads for sport. One point sticks out after they’d cantered to the league in 2005/06. They’d bolstered their ranks with Shevchenko from Milan and Ballack from Leverkusen, and MATCH magazine had told me these lads were the nuts. So naturally, ensue sheer devastation and a complete dislike of the Chelsea fan in the classroom. As chances would have it, at 26 I’m also looking at Chelsea with the same envy from splashing the cash, albeit with a more colourful array of expressing my emotions.

My strong dislike for the dance of the window is not to be confused with my club strengthening the squad - that wouldn’t make any sense. It’s just near impossible to filter out the complete nonsense from actual the actual truth. Podcasts, articles, timelines drowned in dross as Jadon Sancho not going to United needs to be updated every five minutes. On the other hand, maybe social media might be too easy a target? These platforms serve to the demand. Perhaps the main outlets were always clogged with this nonsense and the accessibility we have now makes it feels more pushed. Although I can’t recall many lads in hindsight stating “teletext fucked again!”

Maybe it’s the power of nostalgia that tells me there used to be more craic to it. When I think now; Alex Ferguson himself, driving to collect Dimitar Berbatov from the airport to compete his £30m transfer form Spurs – after hearing Manchester City have also came in for him. That’s class. Robinho joining Manchester City at a time when they weren’t [unfortunately] the club they are now. West Ham signing two future Champions League winners Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano in a deal dodgier than one Del Boy Trotter would sanction. Andy Carroll and Suarez arriving at Liverpool the same day Torres left them for Chelsea! Drama not seen on RTÉ 2.

Anyway, T-minus two days for the fictitious SHUT of the window, and if anyone has access to Adam Sandler or his remote from Click, give me a shout.

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