When we think of a ‘Soap’, most people will reminisce about some of life’s most fascinating storylines, featuring the most entertaining characters.
But when you really think about the greatest soap stories of the modern era, one must look no further than the magnificent, Transfer Deadline Day.
The idea of sitting and watching Gail Platt, Ian Beale, or any one of the Dingles for 12 hours is enough so send shivers down anyone’s spine. But when Transfer Deadline Day comes around, by 12:00am our eyes need to be surgically removed from the screen.
With BT Sport, Sky Sports and BBC all getting in on the action of last night’s coverage, viewers were offered an array of options by sports broadcasting’s big three. But it doesn’t stop there. The build up and coverage from media has made this one of the most hotly anticipated dates in the football calendar.
In previous years, the way media report TDD has been ruled by a clubs willingness to put on a show for its fans. The storyline they project is then published far and wide, from spending millions on youngsters, to taking a gamble on a player who might be past his peak. We’ve even seen players create their own stories – Peter Odemwinge to name just one.
However, last night the entertainment of watching the big clubs spend big bucks fizzled out. For the first time in its short lived history, the soap’s storyline produced an anti-climax.
As football fans, we have become accustomed to watching lavish summer spending sprees, gripped by media reports and transfer gossip. Radamel Falcao, Alexis Sanchez, Angel Di Maria and Elaquim Mangala all moved to the Premier League in the summer, with a combined cost of £130million – the same amount that was spent in the whole of January. So why, with the biggest ever spread of broadcast, online and print coverage, was there such a disappointing end to what should have been a day to relish?
What last year was an exciting mid-season pick me up for football fans, this season failed to live up to its reputation – Summed up most by discontent West Ham fans, all of whom had been assured a deal was imminent. We may have had more screens to watch it on, but we certainly struggled to find a story.
Whilst TDD remains unique, the comparisons are endless. The ‘who shot Phil Mitchell’ saga was as drawn out as Luis Suarez’s transfer to Barcelona. Robin Van Persie joining Manchester United was as heartbreaking for Arsenal fans as the death of Vera Duckworth, and Frank Lampard signing for Manchester City via New York was as confusing as the love hexagon between the McQueen family and their lovers. This year, there was no such comparison.
But rest assured, come September 1st we’ll be reminded by the media that the first in this two part series is back… and we know that we’ll watch, because there simply is no other day like it!