Why ‘Relationship Transfer Deadline Day’ is terrible

You’re not Jose Mourinho

If you’re a fan of football, you will know about transfer deadline days. For those of you who don’t, here’s a brief summary.

Football clubs are given windows of time (transfer windows) in which they are allowed to buy and sell players. The last day of these windows is known as ‘deadline day’, and usually Jim White from Sky Sports wearing a yellow tie and shouting down a camera while teams frantically search for players who will enhance their clubs. The point to take away is that it requires people to make decisions about the future by a certain date.

In 2013, Radio One DJ Scott Mills coined the term ‘Relationship Transfer Deadline Day’. He declared that 3pm on the 10th of December was the time by which you should break up with a romantic partner over whom you were having doubts, as “No one likes a Christmas dumping”. Mills recently announced that this year it will take place on the 16th, and failure to meet this deadline means you have to stay with your partner til early January so as not to ruin the festive period.

Radio One posted a video explaining the whole thing here. On the face of it it seems pretty harmless, perhaps even funny. Appearances from a few DJ’s and even Sky Sports legend Chris ‘Kammy’ Kamara were enough to spring the phenomenon into the public eye, and it has only developed since the first year, trending on UK twitter yearly since its launch.

Let’s cast an evaluative eye over relationship transfer deadline day. There are some plus sides to it, like the fact that you avoid ruining Christmas for someone by dropping a savage Christmas Eve breakup or something similar. Breaking up on the 16th allows a solid week and a half for both parties to get any emotions out of the system before Christmas Day.

For people as disorganised as myself, deadline day also avoids the issue of present buying. If you’ve been with someone for a month, what on earth is an acceptable gift? Plus nobody wants to be one of those people who overpays horribly and is then left feeling bitter when their partner moves on a few weeks later for some guy with a topknot and ‘designer stubble’.

‘This sounds great!’ I hear you cry. No, you are wrong. It is not great, and here is why.

Let’s look at the people who actually tweet about #R1TransferDeadlineDay. Here is @OhhAhhJoshua’s effort:

This is just not good in any way, shape or form. He refers to women as both ‘babes’ and ‘girls’ within his 140 characters. His twitter handle is literally a football chant altered to include his name. He looks like the sort of person who non-ironically retweets the Lad Bible.

Here we see Twitter user @mogss8 with his contribution. Again, this is an example of a very bad tweet. This is a man who has taken to Twitter to cover up his heartbreak at the fact that nobody wanted to date him. He masks his disappointment thinly by claiming that it was HIS decision to not ‘panic buy’, but let’s be honest and accept that he just got rejected. It’s ok Dan, we know that crying face emoji is a sad one and not a happy one.

So we see that a large chunk of those who participate in the deadline day are in fact people who have never seen a vagina and refer to their FIFA Ultimate Team as their proudest achievement. And we haven’t even started on the emotional impact yet.

Imagine you’re happy in a fledgling relationship, just finishing a 2-3 lecture and heading home for a cup of tea and an episode of Countdown. All of a sudden you’re blindsided by a text from your partner: “Sorry buddy, you’re not getting a contract extension”. After you get over the initial shock and confusion, you have a scroll through Twitter and see that your partner has screenshotted the conversation and sent it to Radio One. The tweet has one like. Your relationship has been sacrificed for one like.


What message are we sending out here? Valentine’s Day has tried for a while to commercialise love and to place a numerical value on it, and we’re seeing the same thing happen here only with social media appreciation. Relationships which in a parallel could have gone on to become happy marriages are being mercy-killed while Scott Mills sits at his desk and chuckles, reading out tweets from heartbroken teens.

As if we don’t already have ENOUGH pressure on relationships in a day and age where phones and social media mean that all of our activities are recorded, our locations are known at all times, and the internet is full of ‘relationship goals’ posts requiring people to fulfil thousands of contradicting social norms and romantic criteria. Now Scott and co have literally thrown a ticking time bomb into the equation, all for the sake of gaining a few listeners.

This is a bad thing. Do not follow this thing. Radio One’s Facebook post from last year literally says “No one should be dumped on account of The Scott Mills Show. Scott Mills and Chris Stark are the last people in the world who should be giving relationship advice. Your happiness and your partner’s happiness may be at stake if you attempt to dump during December”. All this, yet people STILL take it seriously.

You are not a football club. You are under no obligation to stay within arbitrary transfer windows. Furthermore, people are not your possessions and cannot be transferred. This concept is trash, and you probably shouldn’t kill off a relationship for two retweets and a sympathy fav.