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Nobs, Lies & Videotape – a filthy history of Transfer Deadline Day

Andrew Boulton explores the ridiculous circus of rumour, non-news and sex toys that is Transfer Deadline Day

by Andrew Boulton | January 27, 2016

‘Shopkeeper, I want the mightiest dildo you have. Preferably one the same colour as the hot, vivid sick of a dizzy toddler. And does it come with a noisily vibrating scrotal pouch? Perfect. No need to wrap it my good man, it’s Transfer Deadline Day don’t you know!’

Yes, it’s that preposterous time of the year once again – a period of 24 hours during which the entire football community thrashes about in a puddle of its own piss and dribble, while helicopters circle the skies showering us in paper-thin hope, unverified nonsense and powerfully hallucinogenic gas.

For the solemn and thoughtful football fan, it’s a grotesque circus of whispers, nothingness and bad yellow clothing. For others, it’s a rare opportunity to metaphorically – and perhaps even literally – bare your shivering genitals to a nation of horrified television viewers.

Bear in mind that all it took was the utterly dreary transfer of Tom Cleverley from Manchester United for a man to thrust a purple rubber willy into the face of a reporter, live on television.


Strangest of all about the whole episode is that the journalist in question was so committed to the full and frank reporting of this incidental fluff, he allowed himself to endure an undignified dildo-ing, all in the name of professionalism. (I suspect that even in 1944, as Allied tanks rolled triumphantly through the newly liberated streets of Paris, most reporters would have readily abandoned their historic duty to escape a prosthetic nob in the eye.)

(Sex) Toying With Our Emotions

And what precisely is it about Transfer Deadline Day that inspires people to brandish their sex toys live on TV – especially when they probably still sheepishly stash their porn mags in the shed? ‘Oh, it looks like we might sign Kieran Richardson. Better head down to the ground and dangle my jumbo anal beads in front of the nation’. With this level of escalation, surely it’s only a matter of time before fans greet the potential arrival of Lee Cattermole on loan by cheerily skimming greased gimps across the stadium car park.

And it’s not as if things are any less peculiar back in the relatively dildo-free environment of the studio. Here, an assembly of dull-eyed TV-types bumble their way through an unending stream of hot monkey poo – scooping out the occasional half-digested acorn and trying desperately to persuade us all that it is, in fact, an emerald. Perhaps it would seem slightly less unsettling if they didn’t all look like they’d thoroughly misunderstood an invitation to a ‘banana party’.


Two Wrongs Make A White

Of course, at the heart of this shambles is the self-assured lunacy of Mister James Hercules White – a man trapped so far beneath his own delusions, reality to him is now nothing more tangible than a single Malteaser bobbing listlessly in the ocean.

Whether he’s exchanging cryptic cockney riddles through an open car window or hurtling through the skies like a slightly woozy eagle, White is all over the proceedings with the blind enthusiasm of a dog tonguing a dead squirrel.

But amongst the dross, the dashed hopes and, indeed, the dildos, there are moments of sublime surreal comedy – not least the magnificent story of Peter Odemwingie trotting confidently across the country, propelled entirely by an understanding of contract negotiations that would make Peter Ridsdale chortle whilst admiring his improbably expensive fish tank.

Here’s a huge range of Transfer Specials for you to deal with

So when the day comes, you may well find yourself gripped by the growing murmurs that your club is in negotiations to sign Pedro Ringpull from Sporting Peanut. Or perhaps you’ll violently soil yourself over rumours that Jonny Hedgehog has been spotted in a nearby Nandos.

But when it’s all done – and the poor reporters are able to scrub the dried lube from their necks while they silently cry – you may feel something like a crippling sense of deflation and probably some pretty powerful self-disgust.

But don’t worry, it’s only 200 more sleeps until the next one.

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