This time last week, we were gearing up for Jim White’s yellow tie, Natalie Sawyer and Hayley McQueen having an obvious boob battle, and a Harry Redknapp interview from his car. Transfer Deadline Day was almost upon us. It’s supposed to feel like the football fan’s version of Christmas Day. Fans camped outside their club’s doors, awaiting any sort of news of incoming transfers. Some demand satisfaction in this regard, like spoiled children on a sugar high. If players on the wish list aren’t signed, the strop is akin to the one you’ll see from the person who misses out on the pigs in blankets. Managers who have done their shopping early are looked upon with jealousy and awe.

Like Christmas Day, the whole thing has become disgusting.

Let me use a Rangers related example to flesh this out. Our deadline day saga involved Jamie Walker from Hearts. As it turns out, this is the only situation involving a Walker that’s moving slower than the Night King and his gang in Game of Thrones. A full day of negotiations and bartering was ultimately futile as no deal was struck.

The most telling aspect of the whole thing was the fan reactions. Hearts fans were lauding their club for seemingly staying strong. Rangers fans were happy not to give Hearts a penny. Somehow, the whole farce had a happy outcome, right?

Not for Jamie Walker.

From all the fallout, he’s almost been ignored. Here’s a young man clearly wanting to move to Rangers. His financial situation would improve, his progression as a footballer be enhanced. His family and personal life would become more secure long term. Like anyone in the working world, he’d achieve the goal of better wages and more reward for his hard work.

But in the footballing world, that doesn’t matter. He’s nothing more than property, to be bought or sold as seen fit. His damnable ambition and desire is nothing more than an inconvenience, something to be dealt with later. He’s not a human being, he’s just the name behind the transfer.

So who is to blame in this case? Hearts, for not accepting a deal, ultimately losing out on all of the cash on offer? Rangers, for not meeting the valuation and progressing the deal? Or football, for having in place a system where people can be given a worth that’s more important than the actual person themselves?

I should ensure here that I’m clear on a few things. Firstly, I completely understand that many professional footballers have a great life in relative terms. Well paid for what they do, hero-worshipped and able to make a real difference if they choose to. Secondly, I don’t think either club in the Walker example acted in a way that could be deemed wrong. Both tried to get the best they could from the deal and it didn’t work out. Lastly, I understand that it can come across as somewhat hysterical to conclude that Jamie Walker is in any way badly treated.

But overall, the whole thing is morally dubious. The amount of money being thrown around in football is seeing players bought and sold for sums which could save thousands of lives every year. As fans, we demand that our club spend more and more to satisfy our rather fleeting desires to see our team win. People who could barely run the length of a football field will judge the efficacy of their club’s management based upon this whole charade. Is there any other place outside of sport where you could line up people one day, shove a valuation on them, and auction them like livestock?

I completely understand that if football became like the normal working world, where you simply handed in your notice when you wanted to move to a new employer, it would be a mess. The gap between the bigger and smaller clubs would be likely to grow as there’d be no compensation for developing players. Given the amount of money clubs can make in certain leagues and competitions, and the impact of losing good players, I do see why the transfer system is in place. What I can’t get on board with is the idea that something like Transfer Deadline Day should be lauded. Excess, greed, fantastical demands and short-term mania are the order of the day. When people who don’t like football come up with those nonsense memes about how much Wayne Rooney is paid compared to a soldier or nurse, it’s difficult to defend our sport when this attitude prevails.

Football has become very corporate, very commercialised. Money was always a big factor, but the sums involved now have led to real problems. When agents who contribute very little to the sport can make millions just by moving a player around, you can’t say it’s perfect. This whole idea of being owned by a club or agency just because they’re paying you isn’t one we’d accept in other aspects of life. Football fans love new players coming to the club. The fantasy of the next hero being found will keep us excited by this for as long as we support our team. The egregious ceremony and pomp being attached to the transfer windows is a symptom of that, but it’s not a positive one.

I’m under no illusions – things won’t change anytime soon. This year suggests the fees will increase, and the media coverage only heighten. Clubs are now using social media to reveal players and build up hype. I’d just rather we remember the more human side of things when we play this game.

Any thoughts or feedback? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk and we’ll be happy to discuss!