So, the 31st January has arrived. Footballers have come and gone. Whether your club are filthy rich or cash-strapped, there are always rumours and news stories flying around and being reported left, right and centre. All the delirium and ecstasy of signing a player or the misery and anguish of selling your prized assets can be summed up in 3 words. Transfer. Deadline. Day.
But, it is not the footballing side of things that I am discussing today; it’s the technology and how social media gets taken over.
The first thing I am going to talk about is something that many people have disowned, businesses have removed and has been deemed useless, yet the footballing world still goes mad for it on #DeadlineDay. It’s the fax machine.
A fax machine is a prehistoric, ancient form of communication, generally used in businesses. I guess the fact that I had to ask what a fax machine was, emphasises my point about it being antique even further…
But, and it is a big ‘but’ too, they are somehow still crucial to every single #DeadlineDay running smoothly, as clubs are using them to send over documents, contracts and enquiries.
A lot of football managers, owners and player agents would much rather use the relic that is the fax machine, purely because of its simple nature, and prefer to be able to actually read through and hold a document, rather than have it in an email or any other virtual format.
However, fax machines aren’t always as trustworthy and reliant as it seems. It is extremely easy to put in a wrong number, which will send the document to the wrong person, and from a confidentiality point of view, if you are dealing with important paperwork and contracts, if they get in the wrong hands things can go wrong very quickly.
This leads me onto my next issue. With an email or text message, for example, you can send it to a specific person/number, however with a fax machine you are hoping and counting on the fact that the correct recipient is stood at the other end of the line. There has been many a transfer that has broken down because the right person has not received the documents.
Finally, the quality of the print wasn’t always top notch, as you can see in the image below.
Often, there were faint lines going through the ink as you can see from the title, and there were occasions where not all of the document printed. As you can imagine, this would be an absolute nightmare if you want to sign a multi-million pound contract. And, I guess when your running out of time on #DeadlineDay, you don’t want to be having technical issues…
Twitter has completely changed how #DeadlineDay works and how news is broken to the footballing world.
News stations and football clubs/agents are constantly active on social media, specifically Twitter, to update fans on transfers or any other club-related news.
Periscope is a live video-streaming app acquired by Twitter before launch in 2015. Reporters use the app to explain in more detail about breaking news, as a standard tweet can only use 140 characters.
Another key feature of Twitter is hash tags, and you can see a few dotted around in this blog. People use hash tags before a relevant word or phrase in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter search. Clicking the hash tag shows all the other Tweets by other users that also include that hash tag. So, on #DeadlineDay, if I post a Tweet including this hash tag and click on it, this is what I will see.
The most used piece of technology in the world, the mobile phone. All reporters constantly have their phones on and are ringing/buzzing/vibrating throughout the whole of #DeadlineDay.
You constantly have the very latest news at the touch of your finger, at the click of a button, you can have any piece of information, instantly.
Sometimes it is not always a great idea for footballers to use social media to vent frustrations, or to engineer a move away from the club and onto a better contract elsewhere. This image is a fine example of an unhappy footballer…
In conclusion, the technology that is used in the footballing world on #DeadlineDay is extremely important, and although it may seem old and outdated, it works perfectly for what the users want it for.