The Transfer Window Dictionary

The transfer window is unique when it comes to language. In January, July and August, football fans adopt and embrace a niche set of words to narrate the drama unfolding in front of their eyes. A transfer window lexicon. Here’s an attempt at a transfer window alphabet, of which you may have your own inputs. There are genuinely loads. Visualise a world in which Jim White converses with Harry Redknapp and other self confessed ITKs on one topic; transfers. Here is something along the lines of what you may hear.



A- Ace. The 18 year old attacking midfield ace has been linked to numerous Premier League sides.

B- Bryan Swanson. Obviously. Or Breaking news!.. Take your pick.

C- Collapsed. When the transfer isn’t completed. Or somebody involved in the deal can’t be arsed. E.g. David De Gea 2015

D- Deadline day. Alliterative, catchy and symbolic.

E- Eyeing. Synonyms: Interested in, watching, hoping to sign, scouting.

F- Fall through. See ‘Collapsed’. Football has a way of dramatising things that don’t happen.

G- Go down to the wire. Usually heard on deadline day. The paperwork may still be ongoing as we hear Big Ben chiming. Everybody is on tenterhooks, has it gone through?

H- Held to ransom. Look no further than Saido Berahino. When a player is finally overcome by his own self-confidence, but is still under contract at a club ‘well below himself’. Must be tough.

I- In the region of. An estimation of the transfer fee, effectively. Basically, they have no idea. See ‘Undisclosed fee’.

J- January. Nothing ever happens in January. Unless you count loan deals ‘with an option to buy in Summer’.

K- Keep-up presentation. You know, when a player signs for Real Madrid or Barcelona. It’s not gone through until this stage has been completed. Potential banana skin for world class footballers, but usually a reminder of how ordinary we are at keep ups.

L- Lodge. In football, bids are lodged. This isn’t an auction.

M- Monitoring. Following the progress of a player, but more fancy.

N- Never ending. The way that the gossip and drama of deadline day will be described. Alternatively.. The next Messi. We’re yet to see him.. But we aren’t short on these descriptions.
O- On the verge of. Synonymous with ‘nearly’, but subtly different. ‘On the verge of’ is a termed adopted by the gossip sections of newspapers, so probably untrue.

P- Personal terms. No transfer is completed until personal terms are agreed, and the club has publicly announced it’s completion on Twitter.

Q-  Quashed. A given player has not only disregarded speculation as untrue, but has quashed the rumours. There’s something quite aggressive about quashing.

R- Red alert. When a club hears of an unsettled player, red sirens metaphorically sound.

S-   So much competition for places in the S category. Sky Sources understand. Swoop and Seal- a rarity of a transfer. A swoop involves a bit of a shock, while a sealing the deal reassures us fans that it was tightly contested and worthwhile- unless there’s a snag.

T- Two horse race. Imagine two titans of the football world racing for the same man. Tantalizing.

U- Undisclosed fee. When the clubs want to keep the extortionate fee private, but media outlets come up with a number anyway. Financial jargon.

V- Vying for a move. To strive for better things e.g. a better club.

W- ‘Who is *player*?’ articles are the norm. No one knows who this man is, but Sky have whipped up an article on this unknown phenomenon from KRC Genk.

X- XI. Here’s how this team would line up if they hadn’t sold all their stars in past windows. E.g. Valencia, Shaktar Donetsk.

Y- Yellow tie. A pragmatic meaning beyond just a yellow tie. This represents a memorable day in the football calendar. ‘Jim White has his yellow tie on’. It’s that time of the year again.

Z- Zzzzz. You, at the end of deadline day. Because nothing has happened, again. Maybe next time.


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