The gang at Football365 have compiled a handy little list to guide you through the close season. Here are their 40 signs that ought to let every football fan that it’s summer:
1) Thierry Henry is off to Barcelona.
2) You keep checking the internet to see if you’ve signed someone. You just did it now.
3) And again.
4) The Mailbox is half as long as normal.
5) Thierry Henry is off to Real Madrid now.
6) ManYoo release a new kit.
7) Football pundits find themselves shoehorned into covering other sports.
8) As do football journalists. Quick, look busy.
9) Someone English is cheered all the way to the fourth round of Wimbledon from Henman Hill or Murray Mount or somewhere.
10) Actually, Andrew Murray’s f**king Scottish, isn’t he? Let’s not cheer for him.
11) Sue Barker sits there and tells you it’s a “Great British summer of sport”.
12) You end up knowing the names of half the footballers’ agents in the Premier League.
13) Old pros are forced to play football as satellite TV desperately scrabbles around for material.
14) Spurs target a top-four finish.
15) Your skin has gone a funny lobster colour and hurts.
16) Golf seems interesting.
17) Everyone gets excited waiting for the fixture list. Ooh, we play every team twice! Once home and once away! I can’t wait!
18) You actually start to miss Alan Hansen.
19) Cricket is the new football. So we’re told.
20) You try to convince yourself that the awful player linked with your club has just been misunderstood in the past.
21) And as for those players you’ve never heard of, well, best check their stats on Football Manager. That’ll work.
22) You start to fancy Clare Balding.
23) Sky Sports News is even duller than normal.
24) Fernando Torres is linked with a move to the Premiership. (Note: In previous years, this role was regularly filled by Benni McCarthy).
25) You tell yourself staying up all night to watch the Copa America and MLS is normal.
26) It’s Liverpool’s year.
27) You suddenly realise you’ve got a wife and kids and that you haven’t spoken to them for nine months. And they hate you.
28) You contemplate seeing if you can find your old Subbuteo set in the loft.
29) You persuade your family this year’s holiday should be in Norway just so you can watch live football. Brann are top, you know, and Odd Grenland have only won once. Fascinating.
30) You persuade yourself the Intertoto Cup is really great.
31) You start craving cold lager at 10am every day.
32) You get so desperate that you start watching Eurosport 2 in the hope some football comes on.
33) You find yourself travelling 100 miles on a bus to watch the youth team’s reserves playing a pre-season friendly.
34) You realise it’s 3pm on a Saturday afternoon and you’re holding your missus’ bags in Top Shop. And even though she’s trying to talk to you, all you’re thinking is ‘Ooh, I remember when Top Man used to sponsor Leeds’.
35) You love being top four or hate being in the relegation zone. Even though the league is entirely alphabetical.
36) You breathe a sigh of relief when you realise pre-season friendlies start in the first week of July. Because watching your out-of-shape side play Stevenage is just great, isn’t it?
37) Newcastle sign 15 players. Only one of them is a defender.
38) You start to work out how many players it would take for your side to break into the Big Four. Then you think how great it would be if you somehow won your first ten games and managed to stay ahead of the rest and be in with a shout of the league.
39) You convince yourself it’s worth sticking a quid on it at 2500/1 odds. 50p, at least.
40) You put the other 50p on ManYoo getting relegated at 7500/1. Anything’s possible, right?