Transfer deadline day is here and Premier League clubs will be keen to get all of their business wrapped up well in advance of the window shutting.
However, these things are rarely so straightforward, with agents, players and clubs always looking to get the best deal.
Indeed, sometimes transfers are not agreed until the last possible minute, which inevitably leads to a frantic scramble from clubs and their administrative staff.
However, a grace period can be granted through the use of 'deal sheets'.
You'll probably be hearing a bit about them at the end of January, so Goal brings you everything you need to know about what they are.
What is a 'deal sheet'?
When a transfer deal has been agreed between clubs at the last minute it may not be humanly possible to get every last bit of documentation completed and sent before the deadline.
In such cases, it is possible to be granted additional time in order to take care of paperwork by making use of a deal sheet.
The deal sheet is simply a form which is filled out to confirm that negotiations have concluded and that a deal has been reached between the parties.
An example of a deal sheet can be seen in the above image.
The deal sheet can only be used in the two hours before the deadline and it must be received by the league before the deadline passes.
After the successful submission of a deal sheet, clubs are granted a further two hours after the deadline in which to get the loose ends tied up.
It is slightly different for international transfers, which requires clubs to comply with the FIFA Transfer Matching System deadline of midnight.
What documents are involved in a transfer?
The process of finalising a transfer concludes with the registration of a player with the league.
As part of this, clubs must sent all the documents related to the transfer, such as the following:
- Transfer Agreement
- Permission to work in the UK
- International clearance
- Details of any additional levies
As you would expect with late deadlines, the Premier League offices are staffed well into the night in order to ensure the swift and efficient handling of the process.
Is a fax machine used in transfer deals?
A fax machine was once an essential piece of equipment when it came to transfers and, much to the chagrin of those involved in deals, it was responsible for the odd delay.
However, we are now living in the age of the internet and the fax machine has been rendered more or less obsolete.
Most clubs have embraced 21st century technology and documentation is generally sent via email, with forms being scanned or sent by desktop fax.
When is transfer deadline day?
The current Premier League transfer window opened on January 1 and is scheduled to close at 11pm GMT (6pm ET) on January 31.
Based on the aforementioned details, that means, in the event of last-minute transfer agreements, deal sheets can only be submitted from 9pm GMT (4pm ET).
Documentation will then have to be received by the league at 1am GMT on February 1 at the latest.