It’s normally a day which promises so much and delivers so little. Millions of football fans around the
country stay glued to their computer screens or to SKY Sports News as a poor reporter stands outside a deserted football stadium reporting on a story that’s never going to happen. But not this year! This year we had reports of players boarding helicopters, players not boarding helicopters, transfer requests, medicals and £85 million being spent on 2 players!
All of which had an effect on what people were searching for on the internet. Despite all the big money moves and speculation, Fernando Torres dominated online searches and conversations after completing his £50 million move from Liverpool to Chelsea late on Monday night. Throughout the day on Monday, Torres accounted for 0.15% of all searches conducted by UK Internet users. Another way of looking at this is that 1 in every 670 searches online related to the new Chelsea forward as the day unfolded. The other players to make an impact were Andy Carroll, who replaces Torres at Liverpool after signing for £35 million and Charlie Adam. The Blackpool midfielder was linked to a move to Liverpool and then Tottenham late on but a deal could not be completed in time.
Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook were rife with activity throughout the day as fans and sometimes players commented on what was going on. Again it was Torres who was the most talked about player. In fact, the Spaniard was the 6th most popular term to drive traffic to Twitter on Monday. Coincide this with the other activity on Facebook and Twitter throughout the day (including Rio Ferdinand questioning whether Andy Carroll was really worth £35m) and it shows what a powerful tool social media has become. However, it was the good old fashioned web page which first broke the news of Andy Carroll’s accepted transfer bid as Liverpoolfc.tv told the world… before crashing and being replaced by a live blog!
Fans were kept up to date on the action in a number of ways with many of the world’s media running live updates throughout the day. The two most popular throughout the day in the UK were bbc.co.uk/sport and skysports.com. As the transfer window slammed shut at 11pm, it was Sky who had won the day (a reward for those reporters who had by now, been stood outside for 15 hours). Sky Sports had 30% more traffic than BBC Sport and had witness a 64% increase in traffic over the course of the day. This was slightly more than the BBC’s 1.4% growth.
Ultimately, the way the day is remembered depends on your football loyalty… Chelsea fans (who also saw their team buy Brazilian defender David Luiz for £21m) will see it as the day that Roman Abramovich provided that he’s not ready to drop his play thing whilst Liverpool fans will remember it as the day that their prized assets left to be replaced by a 22year old Newcastle. For the rest of us, it was a day that will be remembered as the day that football came out of the recession and went truly mad!