Deadline day promoting change for change’s sake

Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins
Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins
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And we’re going live to Anfield to our reporter Charlie Corncrake. Tell us what’s happening, Charlie.

- Nothing at the moment, Dave.

- So you’ve no comings and goings at Anfield to tell us about?

- Well, Dave, I saw a fox rummaging through a bin and a couple of lads loitering near a people carrier, but that’s about it.

- So there it is, the news at Anfield is there is no news.

On Friday, we were subject to the now annual transfer deadline day saga which involves a full team of reporters being assigned to stand outside football grounds up and down the country hoping they might catch a glimpse of a footballer.

It’s a bit like watching a David Attenborough wildlife documentary, though the mating rituals in the animal kingdom are altogether more sophisticated.

I’m a football fan and even I don’t like transfer deadline day so I’m guessing it does little to endear non-sports fans to the beautiful game.

For those who don’t know what transfer deadline day is, put simply it’s the deadline day by which all transferred players have to be registered with their new clubs. It used to be you could sign players from anywhere in the world whenever you wanted provided the player, his club, his agent, his family and all his mates were in agreement. Otherwise it’s kidnapping.

One of the problems with putting a deadline on something is that it causes panic.

To be told you’re not allowed to buy anything after a certain time encourages people to spend money on things they don’t need. Getting a pair of trousers that are two sizes too small for you in a closing down sale in the hope you might one day fit into them is the equivalent of signing David Beckham at his current capabilities.

Because of the deadline being imposed on football clubs to do business, fans have an expectation for their teams to get involved in a bit of wheeling and dealing.

Imagine running a company and being told that you have to do all your financial dealings within a certain period of time while being egged on by your customers.

- We’re going live to the Colchester branch of Pizza Express which has been struggling of late and were hoping to bring in some new front of house staff to boost their flagging sales. Our reporter Charlie Barndance is there to see how they got on. Charlie, what’s the story?

- Not great, Dave. They’ve opted to retrain their current front of house staff. Customers are not happy. They wanted some fresh meat. I’m sorry to report the chips are down.

- Thanks, Charlie. That’s £2 you owe to the pun-box.

For me, transfer deadline day has allowed the media to dictate the news rather than the other way round. Instead of reacting to transfers, broadcasters are causing them to happen.

It feeds into the notion that companies stagnate if they stay the same. In business, you’re told to think outside the box to keep things fresh and push the envelope. Coke Zero and Cherry Coke are two examples of how Coca Cola have reinvented themselves, and personally they’re both a waste of time. And as for cans with people’s names on them... okay, so maybe I’m just peeved they don’t do ‘Graeme’.

- Please tune in next week when we visit Last Of The Summer Wine where Compo, Foggy and Clegg will be played by John Inman, Kiefer Sutherland and Grace Jones.