A day in the life...
What actually happens behind the scenes on transfer deadline day? As the clock ticks down to Friday's closure of this January's window, we ask those on the frontline of football from the players to the managers, agents, club execs, reporters and even Sky Sports News' Jim White...
By Interviews: Peter Fraser, Chris Burton, Graeme Bailey & Pete O'Rourke Graphic: Thomas McClure
Last Updated: 30/01/14 2:35pm
Whether it be interviews through car windows, the constant ringing of mobile phones or the frantic use of fax machines, everyone has an image of what it must be like to be involved at the heart of the action on a transfer deadline day.
Every second counts before a market window closes and so clubs will be hastily trying to complete their deals this January before 11pm on Friday brings the end of the latest business. But what is involved behind the scenes in the non-stop drama of the last-minute wheeling and dealing?
Here at skysports.com we have put that very question to the people who matter, including a player, manager, club executive, agent, news reporter and even Sky Sports News presenter Jim White.
THE TELEVISION PRESENTER
Name: Jim White
Experience: Sky Sports News' Mr Deadline Day. The best in the business and a familiar face on television screens for many transfer windows over the years
"As soon as I open my eyes in the morning, I have some newspapers delivered to my house and I switch on to Sky Sports News on the television so I can get a rough gauge of what is happening. Then I just buy in to the mood of the day before I even leave my house to come in to work. I will normally get to the studios around 2pm to have time to get organised and watch a lot of the output while also helping out by making calls and chasing information. Agents, managers and players also often give me a call. I then go on air around 7pm or 8pm and see it through to the very end, which can often be two or three hours after the 11pm deadline. The atmosphere in the studio on a deadline day is terrific. Everybody knows it is a special day and it is accepted that everybody has to bring their 'A Game'. There is a buzz from the word go. You also get a really great feeling that there is a huge worldwide audience. Everyone is watching."
THE FOOTBALL EXECUTIVE
Name: Tor-Kristian Karlsen
Experience: Norwegian former chief executive and sporting director at Monaco. Previously worked as a scout for Grasshopper, Watford, Bayer Leverkusen, Hannover and Zenit St Petersburg
"The sporting director now does the job of the manager on deadline day - contracts, chasing players, speaking to agents and chief scouts and also talking to the chairman to try and get more resources. The sporting director is the central quarter-back on deadline day and will ultimately make the recommendation of whether to go for a player or not. Sometimes you might be offered a player out of the blue on deadline day from a foreign country and you might think it sounds interesting. In those situations, you might call your European scout and ask for a quick brief on the player. Everyone is alert on deadline day. Sometimes things really heat up from late afternoon to when the window closes. It gets very busy and you really have to be on top of your game to understand what players you need, their characteristics, what price and how far you are prepared to go. It might look chaotic but the best operators are those who have tried to really take care of themselves and tried to anticipate which players might be available. That is the masterstroke."
Name: Peter Taylor
Experience: Twenty-eight years as a boss at various clubs, including in the Football League, and Premier League and at U20, U21 and senior level with England
"Where deadline day is a nightmare is if you are going to lose one of your best players. If all of a sudden you get an enquiry for your best striker and you have not got time to go and get somebody, that is when it is a big, big decision for the chairman. The manager will be saying, 'no, I am not going to do it'. But if the chairman has got a good deal on the table, it is a bit of a problem. You can lose someone at the last knockings and it is a pain. But that is where you have to take the gamble at times and maybe get somebody in on loan at the last second. I think windows take more money out of the game. Some of the things that happen are desperation and you pay more than you should. Agents know you are desperate for that player, so they hold out a little bit. Agents have openly admitted that to me, that they sometimes ask a little bit more, because they know how desperate the club are in the window."
Name: Joe Edwards
Club: Yeovil Town
Experience: Began career at Bristol City in 2010 before loan moves to Bath City, Stockport County and Yeovil Town. Joined the latter on a permanent basis in January 2013
"For me, personally, deadline day is the entertainment of watching Jim White on Sky Sports News and seeing what is going on with the clubs in your league. Anything can happen in the Football League. Around the club, there is always a lot of banter with the boys, who keep their phones on to see if they get a move. I have not moved on a deadline but it can be strange that sometimes a team-mate is not around. It can be surprising but that is the way football goes. Everyone gets excited and builds themselves up for it. It can be left to the last minute and it can be quite entertaining when one of your team-mates suddenly has to drive somewhere to a different club."
Joe Edwards was speaking on behalf of Yeovil Town kit manufacturers, Sondico. Visit sportsdirect.com
Name: Barry Silkman
Experience: Former player and manager. Has been an agent since the 1980s and is now one of the most influential in English football
"A big deadline day involved Ashley Cole going to Chelsea. I was involved in Middlesbrough signing Robert Huth and that was dependent on Cole moving. That was a strange one, as that was not done until two hours after the deadline due to it being dependent on Cole going to Chelsea. He was away with England and was in Manchester or somewhere up north and we had to wait. So Chelsea had to ask for time. As Huth was dependent on that, the football authorities allowed it. I have had many long, hard deadline days but one which I class as the hardest and also most memorable was in 2005, when I took Fabio Rochemback to Middlesbrough from Barcelona. I had worked on it for eight weeks. Then, five minutes before deadline, we just could not agree a deal with his agent. At that moment, it was off. Boro chief executive Keith Lamb was away at the time and we had to phone him. Luckily he instructed them to let me do the deal but that was a huge one which almost collapsed. A transfer deadline is a joke. I wanted to get loads of agents and take it to the European Court. It is restriction of trade."
Name: Chris Gunter
Experience: Began career before moves to Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest and then joining Reading 2012. Played in the Premier League and has more than 50 caps for Wales
"Transfer deadline day can leave a player with mixed emotions, as so much can happen which can affect your future. If you are directly involved in a possible move on deadline, it can be a nervous wait to see if the transfer will actually go through and it's an anxious wait if you think something could happen. On the day, you could find yourself at your club but just 24 hours later you find yourself with new employers even in a different country so it can be a major upheaval for a player. But also, like any fan, it is an exciting time to see what possible deals might happen and who your new team-mates might be."
Name: Peter O'Rourke
Experience: Skysports.com's football news editor with contacts around the globe to the top names in the game
"It is always one of the busiest and longest days in our office, with lots of tea and energy drinks needed to keep you going right up to the 11pm deadline and beyond - as there are always a few late deals that sneak through. Most of the day will be spent on the phone chasing up leads and rumours that I get from my wide range of contacts in the football world and trying to get to the bottom of the deals that are taking place. We aim to bring the news to our readers as quickly as possible to make us the first port of call on the web for all the best transfer news. We will also work closely with our colleagues at Sky Sports News to try and unearth any possible moves or dealings that have gone under the radar."
THE VIEW FROM ABROAD
Name: Paulo Freitas
Experience: Skysports.com's Brazilian and Latin American correspondent. Brazil's head researcher for Football Manager
"There is nothing like the Premier League deadline day in South America, so the situation is considered odd. Premier League clubs have a full window to sign players but end up making key signings only when time is running out, spending more money in the process than they would have done in normal circumstances. The lack of planning when making those signings, often in panic, also contrasts greatly with the reputation English clubs have of being much better run than their South American counterparts. The general fan and media interest is also deemed strange, as it is fairly different from the attitude in South America - where transfer stories and rumours are generally far less common. Despite the cultural differences, the attention given to the Premier League's deadline day has been increasing in recent years and it is now covered by many South American media outlets."