SunSport’s Neil Ashton reveals the exact anatomy of a transfer as the summer window prepares to slam shut for England’s clubs and the last-minute scramble begins
Here, SunSport’s chief football reporter NEIL ASHTON talks to some of the players, agents, managers and sporting directors who have lived through this nerve-shredding day.
Kieran Gibbs completed his move to West Brom on Wednesday
Former Ipswich star James Scowcroft gives us a player’s take on deadline day
I had been primed for a dream move to another club a couple of times during my career.
Leicester to Crystal Palace and Leicester to Norwich both fell through on deadline day. I once thought I was going to Liverpool when I saw my name linked with them in the paper.
Later I discovered my agent had planted it in there with a friendly journalist to boost my ego. It worked — at least until I found out!
Sometimes chief executives get the blame. I’ve had managers phone me after a deal has fallen through to say the CEO “screwed up the paperwork”. Nobody believes it, it’s just an excuse.
The hardest part is going into training the next day with the same club. It isn’t easy to walk in when you said bye to the lads the previous day.
Scowcroft thought he was primed for a dream move on several occasions
He once thought that he was going to join Liverpool
I would struggle to sleep the night before. There is a lot of stuff flying around, a list of targets, a lot of potential options.
I would be up early the next morning and would head straight to Portsmouth’s training ground to plan the day with the manager.
The phone never stops ringing — it could be the manager with a tip to follow up, an agent offering a player or the chairman wanting to know how we were progressing. There are some good times when you get a deal over the line but there are always some major disappointments.
It can leave you feeling very flat and very empty. It is a shattering day and it can shred nerves because time is so tight.
The chairman would need to be on standby to approve deals and quite often they are completed without even seeing the player in person.
Former Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie says he used to have sleepless nights prior to deadline day
David Pleat was Tottenham’s former manager and football consultant
I used to go and watch a player two or three times to make a decision. Now the managers don’t even bother to watch them live. It’s all getting very impersonal.
I relied on my contacts I had built up over the years to tip me off about a player’s availability.
That’s how we signed Dele Alli from MK Dons. We had word he was talking to other clubs and that’s when Daniel Levy made his move. It has been one of the smartest pieces of business in the club’s history.
A quick round up of the recent transfers in the Premier League
We are well organised so we don’t do the frantic running around you see from one-man bands on deadline day. The day is for them really.
Negotiations with clients take place over weeks and because so much of our business is across Europe, it needs lawyers and accountants who are fluent in different languages.
We don’t need to move players because we make a lot of money when our players stay with their clubs. We don’t panic.
I’m very relaxed about it all these days. We are very successful at what we do, which is why I will be on the balcony of my villa in the south of France on deadline day.
Jonathan Barnett oversaw Gareth Bale’s transfer from Spurs to Real Madrid
Damien Comolli signed Luis Suarez for Liverpool
It is a day that requires maximum concentration and focus.
There is so much noise, so many distractions and so many deals being talked about that it can be easy to get side-tracked. The supporters get very excitable about signings but the executives have to detach themselves.
There is so much at stake — reputations, money and results — that it is a critical period.
It is an exciting day but also a very difficult one to be in an office doing deals with a deadline approaching in just a few hours.
A look at which player will be next to smash the world-record transfer fee
GENERAL REGISTRATION/TRANSFER REQUIREMENTS – To register a player, clubs have to send the Premier League all documents relating to the transfer, the transfer agreement, permission to work in the UK (if required), international clearance if transferring from abroad (International Transfer Certificate). For a player transferring from abroad, providing that the relevant papers have been submitted in time, the International Transfer Certificate can be received up to 75 minutes before kick-off for a player to be eligible.
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AUTHORISED SIGNATORIES – Any player contract and transfer agreement must be signed by an authorised signatory of the club. This means an official of a club duly authorised by its board of directors to sign forms as required by these rules.
GROSS NUMBERS – FA rules state all remuneration in contracts of players transferred be stated in gross (ie before PAYE and National Insurance deductions).
INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER CERTIFICATE – For any player registered outside the FA or the FAW and wanting to play in the Premier League, the FA or FAW must have issued to them an International Transfer Certificate from the national association he is leaving.
Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore defends spiralling transfer fees
TRANSFER MATCHING SYSTEM – When there is an international transfer, the buying and selling clubs have to register it on the FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS) in order for international clearance to be generated. The buying club have to upload all the information to the system and the foreign club have to match all the details. The English FA will request clearance and as long as everything matches; the foreign association will issue clearance to the FA, who then informs the club and League. The Premier League receives a copy because it needs to ensure that players coming in have had their registration transferred to this country, or Wales, in the case of Swansea City.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to be one of the biggest movers on deadline day
Renato Sanches could be on the verge of a move to Swansea
The fax machine still plays a major part in every deadline day
DEAL SHEETS – Sometimes it is not easy for clubs to get everything on a deal completed and sent over to the Premier League by the deadline. The deal sheet allows a club to confirm that a deal has been reached and to allow for additional time to submit the remaining documentation. The deal sheet can’t be used until two hours before the deadline and needs to arrive fully completed before the transfer window closes. Once the sheet arrives, clubs have an additional two hours after the window closes to submit the full paperwork. But if a club are looking to complete an international transfer, they still have to comply with the Fifa TMS deadline of midnight.
FAXES – Despite some suggesting otherwise, documentation is no longer through fax machines, but by desktop faxes or scanned documents sent by email.
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Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s LIVE transfer blog