Sky Sports News is today gearing up for an all-day deluge of substance-free drivel as the January transfer window shuts.
By eleven o’clock tonight, when all bets are off, it is estimated that anchorman Jim White and his team will have regurgitated close to a thousand complete whoppers to a captivated audience all desperate for any activity to occur, if only to legitimize them taking the day off work and eating Jaffa Cakes in their pants.
Since the twice-yearly windows were introduced to Britain in 2002 Sky has made transfer deadline day a carnival of relentless arseplop that hypnotises the unemployed with flashing sidebars and manages to convince every supporter that their club’s signature of Charlie Adam is increasingly imminent.
Inevitably the day ends in a dribble of anti-climax as Jim and the boys pore over a Watford reserve moving to Cheltenham Town on a one-month loan deal.
The Cutter received the inside scoop on how the station continues to get away with it by an anonymous source.
We met Mr X, a disgruntled former backroom employee of Sky in a pub off the Charing Cross road. After a few beers the candid revelations flowed.
‘You mentioned Adam just now. Well, today Sky will place some poor sod outside the gates of the Blackpool training facility, dressed in a smart suit and getting thoroughly drenched in the rain. He’ll send in regular ‘reports’ speculating whether the lad is currently saying his goodbyes to team-mates, and claiming he’s on his way to Villa or Liverpool, knowing perfectly well that by now its baloney’.
‘Then, when the time comes for Adam to zoom past in his fancy car, on his way home to play on his X-Box, and oblivious to all the fuss, the reporter doesn’t simply come clean and say ‘Okay, I got it wrong’. Oh no, he’ll then talk for hours more about the total bullshit he’s just created with his very own brain and mouth!’
Every six months the station whips up a fever pitch of unrelenting excitement based on the slightest of rumours and a sliver of hearsay passed on by a pissed-up ex-pro to an assistant director in his local boozer.
Today’s McGuffins are expected to include Luiz to Chelsea, Shay Given to Spurs, and, in a shocking development, Duncan Ferguson to come out of retirement to solve Everton’s eternal search for a decent striker.
As always there will be a gorgeous female presenter happily showing off a third of her funbags to distract the viewers from the fact that absolutely nothing is happening aside from them being forced to repeat ad nauseam an early morning clip of ‘Arry Redknapp claiming that another club’s player is ‘triffic’.
‘It’s their own fault really,’ our source continues, ‘They’ve brought in on themselves. Some bigwig high up at Sky once thought it would be a bright idea to make countless, continual hours of television covering very little actual content and he was proved absolutely wrong. The show has more padding than Karen Carpenter in a sumo suit yet they stubbornly persist with it every six months. It only survives because the viewers at home are so desperate for that slight chance that something sensational will break. Just so they can gain man points by being the first to text their mates about it. It’s quite sad when you think about it.’
Another key aspect of the day ahead is the regular appearances in the studio of the ‘in the know’ journalist, an intensely dislikeable individual, who makes a point of parading his numerous mobile phones in front of him to illustrate to everybody just how many contacts he has in the game. It’s an act that on television suggests importance but if done down the pub would scream out ‘massive twat’.
Our informant is entirely dismissive of his insight.
‘That guy knows shit. It is his role to not lose the viewers, who are beginning to suss by now that all business has long been concluded and they might be better off giving the flat a quick clean before the missus gets home. So he’ll promise and promise that something is about to occur and even gets one of his mates to text him so he can pretend it’s from Arsene Wenger. I’ve seen it myself. ‘U out l8r 4 a pint pal?’ quickly becomes ‘Listen very carefully. I will say this only once. Henderson medical about to proceed. Do not tell a soul’.
‘The whole day is about promising something hugely exciting that they absolutely know they cannot deliver. It’s essentially a man patting a generous bulge in his jeans…then very, very slowly unzipping….only to reveal an old sock and tiny member’.
At this point the Cutter felt slightly uneasy, guided our drunken source to a nearby fruit machine, and left him to it.