In Review

Deadline Day: When does the summer transfer window close?

Sky Sports will be gearing up for another day of frenzied speculation as the end of trading approaches

After a record-breaking summer of spending in the Premier League, the transfer window will close at 11pm on Wednesday 31 August.

How much money will be spent this summer?

With extra money from the new Premier League TV deal swelling the coffers, clubs have been flexing their financial muscles. Massive deals for players such as Paul Pogba (£89m), John Stones (£47m) and Leroy Sane (£42m) have ensured that spending has already eclipsed last summer's record of £870m, says Sky Sports.

By the time the curtain falls, the amount spent by the top English clubs could have reached £1bn.

And the window could close with a flourish this year as transfer business in all of Europe's other big leagues - including Italy, Spain, Germany and France - will end on the same date, says Fifa.

Why do some deals go through after 11pm?

Clubs have until 11pm to submit the paperwork to the FA, but if there is a last-minute snag, a "deal sheet" can be submitted confirming the transfer and allowing the clubs an extra two hours to fill out all the forms. This explains why some deals are confirmed after the official deadline.

International transfers involve an added layer of bureaucracy as they must comply with Fifa's transfer matching system, which allows international clearance for a deal and has a deadline of midnight.

It was this red tape that scuppered David de Gea's Deadline Day move to Real Madrid last summer, but for once it was the clubs, rather than Fifa, who were to blame for the problems, says Pete South of website GiveMeSport.

His in-depth account of the deal explains how the clubs failed to update the organisation's database so the transfer could not be properly processed.

How can I follow developments on the day?

As usual, Deadline Day will be accompanied by all kinds of hullabaloo, most notably on Sky Sports, where the occasion has taken on a life and colour all of its own.

With the Sky team decked out in yellow, the broadcaster's frenzied coverage of the final hours of business has come to represent the moment the summer ends and the Premier League reasserts its control of the nation's sporting psyche.

Sky will not be alone in covering the last-minute deals, with wall-to-wall coverage in newspapers, websites and broadcasters.

What do the managers think?

The British obsession with summer transfers has mystified some in the game - Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp, who has just experienced his first summer at Anfield, among them.

"I really wait for the day when finally the transfer window is closed because I can't believe how obsessed you all are with this," he said this week. "You don't believe for a second in improvement on the training pitch."

Deadline Day: a three-ring circus for optimists and cynics

1 February

Blame Robinho. It was the Brazilian's shock arrival at Manchester City on the last day of the 2008 summer transfer window that helped catapult Deadline Day from footballing sideshow to star attraction, says the Liverpool Echo.

Now, twice a year, the impending closure of the transfer window becomes a national event for anyone with a passing interest in football.

At Sky Sports in particular, Deadline Day has taken on a life – and, for some reason, a colour - of its own, with a team of presenters, led by the excitable Jim White, clad in yellow, babbling about what their "sources" are revealing to them as the clock ticks towards 11pm.

It has also spawned a host of viral videos and memes (Riquelme to Everton; Harry Redknapp leaning out of his car window) perfectly suited for the social media generation, reports the Daily Mail. It is an event that feeds off the blind optimism of football fans, tempered by a knowing cynicism.

And while there is often very little of substance to report on Deadline Day, it has become an "orgy of misinformation and hysteria", says Alan Tyers of the Daily Telegraph.

"In the past 20-odd years, football has gone from being a pastime and a sport that made money to a cash-driven entertainment product. Transfer deadline day, all mouth and trousers, is its star salesman," he writes.

The movement of capital has become as interesting as the movement of footballs, he adds. The case of Liverpool target Alex Teixeira illustrates the point. Few Reds fans would have heard of him two weeks ago but despite that, "want has created need, and now he simply must be had at any cost".

But it is that desperation that is undermining the sport. "The fact that the employment prospects of some Brazilian random who plays in Ukraine is a major sports entertainment story is the reason that huge numbers of working people can no longer afford to go and watch their team," says Tyers.

Yet that does not stop the Liverpool Echo from opining on the player's chances of a move. "Will Liverpool sign him? Probably not," begins the paper, before adding: "But a deal could still happen today, if you choose to believe reports."

It is a volte-face in the space of two lines that neatly sums up the unique charms of Deadline Day.


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