Time is fast running out for British football clubs to do their business in the January transfer window with many desperate to find players who can transform their season. As we draw ever closer to 'Deadline Day', or '#JimWhiteDay' as it's known on Twitter, Sky Sports News is getting busier and busier as we prepare for the window to shut at 11pm on Thursday evening.
It's the time of year when managers are desperate to attract new talent, while others will go to great lengths to hang on to their star players. Clubs spent £35 million during the first winter window when it was introduced in 2003. In 2011 this figure reached a record £225 million with major deals involving Fernando Torres, Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez all concluded in the final hours.
As I write this blog, almost £100 million has already been spent with two days still to go (including Mario Ballotelli's £20 million move to Milan). Agents are busy, rumours are running wild and at the centre of the drama is the team at Sky Sports News who try to make sense of it all so we can present an accurate and up-to-the-minute news service for millions of football fans. There is no better place to be than at SSN HQ on 31 January when scripts go out the window and breaking news reaches us all the time. It's like Election Night twice a year!
Since its introduction in 2008, Sky Sports News Transfer Deadline Day show has become must see TV for football fans many of whom are glued to their TVs at home, in pubs and even specially arranged parties! And it's not just in the UK. Viewers across the world now enjoy hours of Sky Sports News live. Fox Soccer Channel in the United States will be showing Sky Sports News all evening, TV2 in Norway will show it for much of the day.
The demand for immediate and accurate reporting has evolved so quickly at Sky Sports News that our coverage has now seen us go global with our reporters jetting to wherever the story is to bring you the facts as they happen. The advantage we have being a live TV channel is that our reporters outside training grounds and stadiums can confirm new signings as they happen.
Transfer Deadline Day takes a huge amount of planning, which is made more challenging by the fact that we're not yet sure what the big stories will be. The key is for us to be organised but flexible. We're lucky we have such a great team here with terrific collaboration across departments to make sure it all runs smoothly. We have over 100 people working across our multi-platform coverage; this includes more than 20 reporters up and down the country who will deliver in excess of 40 live broadcasts through the course of the evening.
We'll make sure viewers don't miss a thing as they follow Sky Sports News' unrivalled coverage of the Transfer Window Deadline Day, whether they are in front of a TV, computer, or using a mobile device. If viewers can't watch it all unfold on their TVs, they have a range of different ways to follow it including Sky Sports News on Sky Go, skysports.com and Sky Sports News Radio.
For me personally, working on Transfer Deadline Day for Sky Sports News is a dream come true. I grew up near Sky's studios and it's what I wanted to do since I was a young girl. Having worked up the ladder, from joining as a runner to now presenting, I do sometimes have to pinch myself at how lucky I am!
And having seen my co-presenter, Jim White, deliver the news for a long time, I am delighted we have forged a deadline day partnership over the last few years. On Thursday I'll be doing my best to reign in the excitable Mr White but I'll also be having a cheeky laugh with him and the many guests that will join us throughout the evening. As Jim would say: "the clock is ticking"...
Follow Natalie Sawyer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nataliesawyer