Up and down the country supporters braced themselves for chaos as their clubs fought tirelessly to seal deals for ludicrous sums of money. The main focus was in Madrid, where Real eventually completed the signing of Gareth Bale for a world record transfer fee of £85.3 million; surely no player is that expensive! Manchester United left it until the last seconds to complete the signing of Marouane Felliani for an inflated price of £27.5 million whilst Arsene Wenger flashed the cash, at last, to acquire the services of Mesut Ozil. We waited all day, but just after the window shut Sky got their interview with Harry Redknapp from his car, that completed Deadline Day.
The Merseyside rivals did the most business on Deadline Day signing three players each. Liverpool got their business done early in the day whilst Everton left it till late. Brendan Rodgers added Tiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho on permanent deals alongside adding Victor Moses on loan from Chelsea. Across Stanley Park Roberto Martinez was adding James McArthur, from his former club Wigan, permanently and further strengthened his squad by signing Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku on loan. Everton were also busy with outgoings too, Felliani joined United and Victor Anichebe joined West Bromwich Albion. Stephane Sessegnon followed Anichebe and joined West Brom from Sunderland for a club record fee. Steve Clarke also added free agent Lee Camp, who will play whilst Ben Foster recovers from a foot injury.
Stoke did the first business of Deadline Day by signing Marko Arnautovic from Werder Bremen for a fee believed to be around £2 million. Mark Hughes also handed Stephen Ireland a lifeline to get his career back on track by signing him on loan from Aston Villa. Crystal Palace were busy, they managed to sign Jack Hunt from Huddersfield, Adrian Marriapa from Reading and completed the loan signing of Cameron Jerome in the last moments after missing out on Nicklas Bendtner.
Already having signed 12 players Paolo Di Canio added two more to his Sunderland squad before the 11pm deadline passed. He brought in Andrea Dossena from Napoli alongside out of favour Liverpool striker Fabio Borini to the Stadium of Light. Fulham were quiet throughout but added Montenegro full-back Elsad Zverotic in the nick of time. Over at Hull, Steve Bruce re-signed Egyptian striker Gedo on loan after admitting he may need to sell the Humber Bridge to sign a striker, however the Tigers did miss out on Shane Long from West Brom. In Wales business was done early, Swansea signed Getafe striker Alvaro Vazquez on loan and Cardiff added Peter Odemwingie to bolster their forward line after the Nigerian was ousted following the last transfer window shenanigans. Aston Villa added Libor Kozak from Lazio, showing most clubs looked to strengthen their attacking options.
Over a third of Premier League clubs didn’t engage in transfer dealings on Deadline Day. Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle, Norwich, Southampton, Tottenham and West Ham didn’t re-enter the market for additional strength on the final day, however West Ham may look to re-sign free agent Carlton Cole to address their attacking headache. So it proved wise to do dealings early as Tottenham proved by bringing in seven players, including Roberto Soldado and Christian Eriksen, yet the transfer of Gareth Bale meant they still made a profit of around £57 million, shrewd business indeed from Daniel Levy and Andre Villas-Boas.
Deadline Day is over once again with Premier League clubs spending just over £624 million. It begs the question if there is too much money in football and proves it is more about business than the game, especially when you look at Kettering Town, a club with 141 years of history, who face a winding up order for debt just over £58,000. We’ll all be back on Deadline Day in January hoping our clubs can sign that crucial player to help reach expectations and fight for club respectability.