The life of a journalist during a transfer window – Joe Crann’s Sheffield Wednesday column

Rule number one – never be too far away from your phone. A look inside the life of a Sheffield Wednesday journalist during a transfer window.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 6:00 pm

Nothing gets chins wagging like new signings – and no matter what’s happening on the field there are always more questions asked around incomings and outgoings than any other aspect of the game.

So the windows are the busiest times of the year for us, and also the periods where you’re probably most judged by your readers. If you can get the transfer lowdown, then you’re alright at your job.

Getting that lowdown, however, is not an easy feat.

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It entails talking to a lot of people, a lot of the time, and also requires you to sift through pages and pages of documents, web pages and phonebooks. Hours (sometimes days) can be spent only to be told, ‘No mate, nothing in that one’, while sometimes you’ll get lucky with a WhatsApp out of the blue.

The nature of Wednesday’s big name – it’s still big, regardless of what division they’re in now – means that the Owls do get thrown into plenty of conversations, and when that happens we have to look into it, even if it’s a deal that seems a bit wide of the mark.

So you phone people, you message ‘sources’, and you try to separate the fact from the fiction in an industry where there is more smoke and mirrors than a West End theatre.

The transfer window is a busy time at Sheffield Wednesday - and not just for the people in the club.

I dread to think how many hours I’ve spent on the phone this month, and a lot of those conversations result in not a single story being written. It’s important to remember, of course, that just because a deal doesn’t happen doesn’t mean it was never on the cards. Things change quickly when there are so many moving pieces.

With Wednesday, they’re chasing signings, and I’ve no doubt there will be at least one or two new faces through the door by the time the January window shuts – but just because nothing imminent has been reported doesn’t mean that nothing’s happening.

Sometimes they’re just good at keeping it quiet.