Before 2002, clubs in England could buy and sell players at will until the closing weeks of the season. Since 2002, the introduction of two transfer windows has resulted in the final day of both becoming a bit of a circus.
Deadline day has become part and parcel of the game, with reporters standing outside training grounds from the crack of dawn hoping for something exciting to happen. Often, that same reporter will cut an extremely tired and dishevelled figure as they declare there’s no news to report for the umpteenth time that day.
But, sometimes, something memorable happens that will be forever engrained into transfer deadline day folklore. Here are five such moments.
Peter Odemwingie in a Car Park
On the final day of the 2013 January transfer window, the then West Bromwich Albion striker Peter Odemwingie drove to Queens Park Rangers’ ground believing he had secured a move.
This came after a social media rant aimed at the club who paid his wages, basically pushing for a move away.
Unfortunately, he just ended up looking a bit stupid as he sat in his car after being refused entry into Loftus Road. The two sides had failed to agree a transfer fee, leaving Odemwingie’s future in doubt.
He sat in the car park until after the deadline passed and then had to scamper back with his tail between his legs, before being forced into a public apology a few days later.
Michael Owen Returns to England
Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen had spent just one season in Spain with Real Madrid, following a move from boyhood club Liverpool, before returning to the Premier League.
Newcastle United forked out a club record £17 million, which a recent post on the Betway blog claimed would be the equivalent of around £80m today, to bring Owen back to England on deadline day in August 2005, and they went all out to ensure he felt welcome.
Approximately 20,000 Newcastle fans were at the stadium to witness him complete his signing, with both Owen and his daughter walking onto the pitch donning the famous black and white strip.
West Ham Sign Tevez and Mascherano
The sight of then West Ham manager Alan Pardew grinning like the cat that got the cream standing in between Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano on deadline day 2006 is one that cannot be forgotten.
Tevez and Mascherano were both Argentina internationals and were being talked about as transfer targets for some of the best teams in Europe, so it was extremely surprising to see them side by side with Pardew having joined West Ham.
It turned out that West ham actually broke transfer rules, as both players were owned by a third-party management company. The club received a hefty £5.5m fine but avoided a points deduction which would have seen them relegated from the top flight.
Saido Berahino Throws a Social Media Strop
Saido Berahino was one of the brightest prospects in English football at one stage, being named England Under-21 Player of the Year in 2014 and netting twenty goals for West Bromwich Albion in the 2014/15 season.
That prompted Tottenham Hotspur to target Berahino, although their bid of around £15m was £10m short of West Brom’s valuation. The player put in a transfer request, which was rejected, and Spurs missed out on their signing despite putting in four separate bids.
The final rejection, on deadline day in August 2015, was the last straw for Berahino and he took to social media to vent his anger and claimed he would never play for West Brom again.
He did play for them again, until the end of that season when he joined Stoke City.
Record Breaking Deadline Day in 2011.
Deadline day in January 2011 must go down as the greatest deadline day ever, with records broken and big-money last minute moves going through.
At the heart of it all was Liverpool and Chelsea, with striker Fernando Torres looking to leave Merseyside for London. Liverpool rejected a transfer request from the player, but he finally got his move on a frantic final day of the season.
Liverpool had agreed to sign Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, and his more than £22m move went through at around 9pm on deadline day. However, they wanted to add more firepower before they agreed to let Torres leave. They also wanted to ensure they made £15m profit from what they spent on another striker.
That other striker was Andy Carroll, who Liverpool paid over £35m to sign from Newcastle United in a deal which went through just minutes before the deadline passed.
But, there was no word at Stamford Bridge regarding Torres. Was he still a Liverpool player or had he completed his move? A nervous wait for information was over twenty minutes after the deadline when both clubs confirmed a £50m deal had been completed.