As any Sky television executive will tell you, Transfer Deadline Day is the most important day in the sporting calendar. So to prepare you for this awe-striking national event, here is the Trivial Pursuits guide to what WILL happen this year…
8:00 – Sky Sports News dramatically announce that there are ONLY FIFTEEN HOURS LEFT until the transfer window SLAMS shut. Cue dramatic music.
9:23 – Roberto Mancini releases a plea video on national television begging viewers to donate £2 a month to help him sign more players. The poor dear has only been allowed to spend a mere £30m this summer, compared to the usual NASA budget-sized kitty and is worried that ManCity might not be able to compete.
9:48 – Joey Barton takes out adverts in lonely hearts column of national newspapers: “Misunderstood northern academic seeks new club for the new season. GSOH, or at least a very understanding one, essential. Knowledge of Proust and Voltaire ideal. Cigar smokers preferred.”
10:02 – Despite being unemployed, Harry Redknapp is interviewed while leaning out of a car window. Says he is looking at bringing “a few top players” in today. A dangerously mad individual.
10:34 – Stoke City are rumoured to be looking at signing The Big Show from the WWE as he fits the Pulis blueprint.
10:53 – Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich buys an unheard of Russian player for an exorbitant sum of money. The press are too busy retweeting Joey Barton to notice anything in the least bit underhand.
11:00 – Mike Ashley pulls off another PR coup by announcing a sponsorship deal to rename St James’s Park. As of next season, the stadium will be known as the Mackem Arena. The press conference is tastefully finished by Ashley performing the Charleston on the grave of Jackie Millburn and punching Peter Beardsley in the nuts.
11:12 – On the BBC, Phil McNulty ‘excusively’ reports that Yann M’Vila is on his way to Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle, Chelsea, Manchester Utd, West Ham, Leeds, Swindon Town or Accrington Stanley.
11:38 – In a bid to fall in line with Financial Fair Play, Manchester City sign a new “dressing room clothes peg” sponsorship deal with a small local, Saudi-owned business. The agreement is set to be worth a reported £12bn per season. Again, no-one bats an eyelid.
11:57 – John Terry gets a swastika tattoed to his leg as a bit of “banter” with team-mate Yossi Benayoun.
12:00 – ONLY 11 HOURS LEFT!!!
12:37 – Theo Walcott releases his latest children’s book, entitled “TJ and the undeserved pay rise”, a sequel to the hugely successful “TJ fails to get any better in 6 years”.
13:09 – Arsenal announce the signing of 7 year-old Frenchman Jean de Queue. Within two minutes, ManchesterCity contact his agent and agree terms to buy him as soon as he turns 21.
14:02 – Robin van Persie treads on a rake at Man Utd’s Carrington training ground and is out for the season. Fergie weighs up loaning Andy Carroll after watching him team up well with Wayne Rooney in the Shrek films.
15:18 – Tottenham sign half a dozen more central midfielders as Villas Boas looks to bolster his 0-10-0 formation.
15:22 – Biggest transaction of the day occurs as Andy Burton’s phone bill arrives.
15:42 - Andy Caroll, ridden by Frankie Dettori, comes 4th in the 15:37 at Fontwell, before being retired and put out to stud in Hexham. Ruud van Nistelrooy wins the race by three lengths.
16:00 – Queens Park Rangers, whose scouting database appears to be a version of Championship Manager from 10 years ago, put in audatious bids for Rivaldo, Luis Figo, Christian Vieri, Chucks Nwoko and Kennedy Bakircioglu.
16:21 – Harry Redknapp seen driving round a car park with his window down, stopping to talk to anyone who’ll listen.
18:00 – Lord Jim White, thane of Deadline Day, arrives at Sky Sports atop a diamond-encrusted sedan chair.
18:21 – Brendon Rodgers manages to sell Jordan Henderson, Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing for 79p and a packet of Chilli Heat Wave Doritos. The Anfield board deny that anything in the last two years ever happened. Meanwhile Liverpool fans continue to deny that anything since 1988 has ever happened.
19:14 – Jim. White. Starts. Putting. Unneccessary. Gaps. Between. Words. In. A. Vain. Attempt. To. Add. Suspense.
20:10 – Andy Burton claims to be talking to a player on the phone at the exact moment he is being interviewed “live” on the BBC. Twitter descends into outrage that the media would DARE lie to us.
21:00 – Jim White’s pauses between words become so long that Sky manage to fit three advert breaks into the sentence: “two hours to go”.
21:35 – Delia Smith staggers out of a restaurant absolutely shitfaced, having bought three players by mistake under the false impression that she was ordering pudding.
22:00 – Sky Sports News shows Big Ben chiming, as if the very passing of time was an entirely unexpected event.
22:00 – 22:59 – Absolutely nothing happens. Sky somehow manage to broadcast it as if it was the end of the world.
22:59 – With 30 seconds until the transfer window “slams shut”, Manchester City agree a £1.6bn deal to buy Arsenal’s entire squad, the Emirates Stadium and Herbert Chapman’s tomb.
The window shuts. The world keeps turning. Jim White collapses in a heap before going back to whatever it is he does for the other 363 days of the year.
by Harry Harland