Monday night brought the curtain down on the busiest day in the football calendar, the close of the European summer transfer window. The day of the year when Jim White is unleashed on our screens, and fax machines are worked as hard as the staff at the FA. Now that the dust has settled, we can reflect on the activities as they happened.
The day started on Twitter with talk of a plane flying over Old Trafford. Was it Radamel Falcao landing from Monaco?
There was a Moyes Out-style protest being staged to highlight the archaic use of the fax machine in football. Fans will know of the technology that’s continually being implemented on the field to improve the game – like goal line technology and vanishing spray. However, the business of sport lags behind other industries when it comes to signing contracts – and most other paperwork – that are still processed manually via fax.
We have followed the topic closely in the past, with players like Yevhen Konoplyanka, Fabio Coentrao, Joao Moutinho and Wilson Palacios falling through at the last moment due to the reliance of outdated, manual, paper-based technology that prevented the completion of paperwork in time for the transfer deadline. There’s a better way.
Javier Hernandez swapped Old Trafford for the Bernabeu early on in the day, with Daley Blind coming in from Feyenoord. Meanwhile, DocuSign FC showed just how easy it could be to sign a football contract electronically…
Hull and Crystal Palace were busy throughout, each acquiring 3 new players on Deadline Day. And Mario Balotelli eventually completed his high profile switch to Liverpool…
However it was Radamel Falcao that dominated the day’s headlines with his deal to Man Utd struggling to get over the line, eventually moving on loan at 1.30am following the departure of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal.
All in all, Premier League sides spent a record £835 million on 165 players in this latest transfer window. Manchester United were this summer’s biggest spenders, splashing around £150m on the likes of Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao. On Tuesday morning, as students around the country woke up with their Transfer Deadline Day Drinking Game hangovers (my favourite is Jim White bingo) I imagine there will be a lot of football managers with equally sore heads having missed out on key targets. Rumors of a missed transfer circled this week, with Celtic appearing to lose out on Man City striker John Guidetti as the paperwork failed to be submitted in time.
So in January, when we’re once again greeted with the excitement of the transfer window, lets hope that our clubs don’t once again fall at the final hurdle, and kick the #FaxOutOfFootball.