Top 10 Transfer Deadline Day clichés
August 31st sees Jim White's favourite day of the year come round once again: yes, it's transfer deadline day.
Car windows being rolled down. Grown men suspiciously standing outside rainy car parks. Fans holding inflatable penises on camera – yes, it's transfer deadline day.
Settle yourself in for the day on the sofa, and before the transfer window slams shut (it's never closed gently) read our top ten deadline day clichés, courtesy of @FootballCliches.
1) The hands-off warning
With everyone now resigned to the fact that transfer dealings will almost certainly take place in the media glare, the "hands-off warning" has become the defence mechanism of choice for clubs desperate to keep hold of their prize assets until the end of August. Should the hands-off warning fail to deter bidders, it is customary to "slap" a prohibitive "price-tag" on the player.
2) The come-and-get-me plea
Any hands-off warning is rendered powerless if the player himself issues a "come-and-get-me plea" to his circling suitors. A failed come-and-get-me plea, however, can lead to the awful punishment of being "frozen out", which in turn can leave the player in the hopeless wilderness of "transfer limbo".
3) The 'derisory and insulting' offer
One adjective above all others is used to describe an inadequate offer for a player, and that is "derisory". Used repeatedly and mindlessly by club chairmen, "derisory" is one of those few words you hear almost exclusively in football but nowhere else. This season has seen an escalation in chairman outrage, with one word no longer enough: enter the addition of “insulting”. 'You have derided me and insulted me. But if you offer an extra few grand let's do the deal, right?'
4) Fax machines
The unsung hero of deadline day. Apparently obsolete in most other industries, the fax machine has occasionally been the pivotal factor in an "11th hour" deal being completed before the aforementioned slamming shut of the transfer window.
5) Bid hijacks
Clubs unable to swiftly wrap up a new signing risk the dreaded "bid hijack". Usually perpetrated by a bigger club, and often conducted in the guise of a "swoop", a perfectly-executed bid hijack can leave your rivals fuming and your fans delighted in equal measure.
6) Snags and stumbling blocks
The last hours of the transfer window are a less-than-ideal time to encounter the common obstacles of "snags" and "stumbling blocks". Snags tend to be fee-related - the modern obsession with add-ons is a typical complication - while stumbling blocks are almost always over the player's personal terms.
7) Transfer raids
The high turnover of the Managerial Merry-Go-Round™ means that clubs are often vulnerable to their previous manager returning to "raid" them of his loyal former charges. It's a particularly violent-sounding entry in the football transfer vernacular, but most raids are surprisingly amicable affairs, despite the inevitable hands-off warnings.
8) Spoof transfer rumours
Thanks to Sky Sports News and minute-by-minute web coverage, the thirst for transfer rumour is almost unquenchable. To fill the gaps, we rely on amusingly outlandish transfer gossip. It usually involves an airport (or a motorway service station, for the purists) and at least four degrees of separation from the rumour-monger - including family pets. So, if John from Manchester's dog's uncle's owner's hairdresser sees Thomas Lemar boarding a private catamaran headed for Liverpool, you'll be sure to read it on Twitter.
9) Military terminology
The transfer window requires a club to strike with precision. When a "target" on their "radar" suddenly becomes a "contract rebel", clubs are said to be on "red alert". Managers of less glamorous clubs must make do with mere "reinforcements", however, unless they happen to secure a prestigious transfer "coup".
10) War chests
It's not clear at which point a "transfer kitty" becomes a full-blown "transfer war chest". The latter enables a club to embark on a wonderfully alliterative "summer spending spree", during which they will face a multitude of hands-off-warnings and slapped price tags despite claiming that they "won't be held to ransom over [insert overpriced England international here]".