Weirdly, my contempt does not arise from our failure to address key areas of weakness in the squad or even M’Vila not signing, I’m used to nothing going right for Sunderland. We simply aren’t allowed nice things, but it’s the nauseating over-hyping of all things transfer related that makes me want to put my foot through the TV on a regular basis.
Since when did transfers become an event? They have always been a necessary part of improving any squad but now we live in a world where "Jim White day" "transfer totalisers" and judging players based on Football Manager statistics is actually a thing. You almost get the impression that the actual football on the pitch is of secondary importance and Sky Sports would be quite happy to scrap fixtures all together and just have clubs transferring players all year around and the team who spends the most wins.
It was tedious enough when ‘Arry used to lean out of his Range Rover declaring that there would be no business done that day before inevitably signing Niko Kranjcar and Peter Crouch but on Wednesday Sky Sports made me cringe even more than usual with their new toy which one presenter described as "fascinating". Essentially they were tracking online trends to see which cities were searching for transfer news the most and which managers were being talked about. Riveting stuff, eh? Although I shouldn’t be too cynical because we actually topped the transfer searching table, so the mags know where they can shove the airport cup.
Even the actual transfer news was irritating in the extreme - I’m sure somebody somewhere was enjoying the minutely updates on Jack Wilshere’s bowel movements but I certainly wasn’t one of them. Another annoying feature of deadline day was the general cluelessness of the majority of the journalists they had farmed out to stadiums and training grounds around the country. It was my understanding from an impeccable source that the majority of their news was either made up on the spot or absolutely nailed on to happen. You would expect a dedicated sports channel to be the first to break transfer news. This was gloriously exposed when Ed Aarons tweeted "Hearing that Moussa Sissoko will not sign for Everton. Spurs reported to be back in for him by BBC" whilst Sky were reporting that Sissoko to Everton was a done deal.
The style of reporting was also very disturbing throughout. Rather than the conduct of Sissoko sparking a debate about the excess player power in the game, Jim White and co appeared to revel in the "drama" this caused. From a Sunderland perspective, White showed how out of touch he was when he declared that Sunderland fans would be thinking "fair play for having a go" when a quick twitter search would have showed that most of the fan base was in meltdown about M’Vila’s Instagram post and the lack of a striker.
But worse than anything I have mentioned so far was the open celebration of the money spent during the transfer window. Every five minutes we were told that this was a record breaking window and clubs had spent over a £1 billion between them. The way the presenters kept referring to it one could be forgiven for thinking they had tuned into a comic relief program and Lenny Henry was about to pop up at any minute.
In fairness this would have made better television than Jim White and his cronies wearing yellow and whipping themselves into a frenzy because Kilmarnock had loaned somebody out to Raith Rovers. But of course, SKY won’t be bothered because despite my long rant, me and millions more around the UK tuned on the off chance they might actually provide us with some decent transfer news.