Either the favourite day of your year, filled with hope, expectation and ultimate despair, or a solemn reminder of the sad growth of football as soap opera and an audience demanding to be sated during every second of their waking lives. Whichever way you look at it, Deadline Day has to be more enjoyable if you are drunk to the point of incoherency, giggling as the madness unfolds. So take the day off work, and get involved…
* At 10.30am, pour out 13 shots of black Sambuca. On every half an hour between 11.00am and 5pm, drink one of the shots to signal the bell tolling on Arsenal’s season as they fail to sign another defensive midfielder or striker. Each of the 13 shots represents a letter in the phrase ‘net spend, fella’.
* This is the day for ex-pro pundits to truly come into their own. Drink a finger for every extra syllable added to a foreign player’s name, and two fingers each time the word “literally” is used in place of figuratively or metaphorically. If the use of the word literally implies death (“he’s literally on fire, Ruud” or “he literally died when he heard the news”), drink a glass of Baileys to soothe the throat. You’ll soon be shouting later.
* Drink two fingers for the phrase “is he ready for the pace of the Premier League?” as long as it is said with a tone of suspicion that Johnny Foreigner isn’t quite up to it.
* If you see or hear mention of a manager you forgot had existed (eg Jim Jeffries, Brian Kidd, Colin Todd, Danny Wilson), finish your drink to salute their good health.
* If anyone says “things are hotting/spicing up” over any transfer of less than £10million in value, drink a shot of vodka for with one drop of tabasco for every £1m under the £10m cut-off.
* When Anthony Martial’s move to Manchester United is confirmed, drink a bottle of Chateauneuf du pape between you in time it takes for Eminem’s Marshall (Martial) Mathers to play. Penalises those of you without friends, but f**k it.
* If Brendan Rodgers says “we have no further moves outstanding” and manages to keep a straight face, drink a glass of Old Bushmills whiskey and comment on how you’re warming to him.
* Every time a presenter changes on the telly, pass your drink to the person to the left, who must instantly down it. Thus participants are persuaded to keep it filled up at all times.
* Every time a manager says “we’ve done our business now” and then gives a look as if an intruder has done their business on his bedroom floor. Two fingers.
* Each time you see a Range Rover with a number plate of fewer than six characters, drink something booze-filled and fizzy.
* Any sign of a male presenter in make-up acting if they are a presidential candidate rather than just someone whose face looks five to ten years younger than their neck. One finger.
* Every time a player whose name ends in ‘-inho’ or ‘-aldo’ joins an English club, do the dirty Caipirinha. That’s down the shot of Cachaca, snort the sugar and squeeze the lime into your eye.
* If you can listen to the entire news bulletin of Chelsea signing Papy Djilobodji without signing ‘Papy don’t preach’, you’ve earned a glass of water. Everyone caught singing/humming must make it vodka.
* Drink three fingers when you hear the phrase “this just in” and recall that time you did Deadline Day role play with the other half. The only thing “breaking” the next morning was your relationship after what her friends still call ‘last minute business-gate’.
* Catch anyone you know discussing what Jim White’s first line of his shift will be in anything other than disparaging terms – pour drink into glass, finish drink, throw glass at relevant offender.
* Some say that the bulletproof vest is the most important item of clothing invented. Others might remark that the first loincloths were. Or bras to give women the requisite support. Or perhaps the spacesuit, allowing us to explore our solar system. Or is it the invention of jeans? Or the training shoe, allowing us to sprint faster, jump higher and run for longer?
No, don’t be a d**k. It’s the yellow tie. Obviously.
The yellow tie is an emblem of man’s achievement. It signifies the completion of the entertainment age, when a simple piece of material worn around the neck could indicate that a great time was upon us.
If a tree falls in the forest but nobody is around to hear it, does it make a noise? Yes, clearly. But does a transfer really happen if a man wearing a navy blue or olive green tie reports its completion? That truly is a question for the ages.
If you got to the end of reading all that guff, drink four fingers.
* When you hear Roberto Martinez declare himself happy with Everton’s business, drink a jug of Sangria between you. After all, that’s surely the only way he can make himself believe that he is content after stating all summer than he wants a No. 10 and multiple defenders and completing neither task.
* Drink a small glass of port for every time you hear an ‘expert’ opinion and fail to name the interviewee before the name caption appears. “Ian Culverhouse? Why in the shuddering f**k are they asking Ian p**sing Culverhouse?”
* Drink one finger for the sight of a helicopter. Drink another two fingers to try and rid yourself of the sadness that you will never again see anything so beautiful as Juan Mata’s pocket square that day. In your drunken mess, start a Twitter account for Juan Mata’s pocket square. Two hours (and many more fingers) later, close it down and throw the computer into the fire. You must be stopped.
* The reporting from outside stadia has now been curbed after The Night Of The Purple Dildo, but that will only make rabid supporters more desperate for their 15 seconds of infamy. Drink two fingers for every distinguishable sex toy seen on live television other than the blow-up doll, which is worth just one finger. So to speak.
* As you catch the phrase “you’ll hear it here first”, pour yourselves some single malt and have a drunken but lengthy discussion over homophones and the intricacies of the English language. Discussion stops when someone asks if ear sex is called ‘aural’ and everyone feels a bit sick.
* A footballer’s wage seems to be inversely proportional to his sartorial elan, thus explaining why Premier League stars wear jeans that look like those ones you bought from Republic in 2004 and then ruined trying to ‘customise’. Drink two fingers for every time you see a player wearing a baseball cap at night. Two fingers if it is on backwards. Three fingers if it has the No. 5 on the front.
* If you see anyone on social media ask “is anyone else wearing a yellow tie today?” then drink absinthe until you can’t feel feelings no more.