So much for the credit crunch. Despite the country entering an economic tailspin of apocalyptic proportions, the Premier League's January sales saw more money change hands than in any previous winter transfer window - £160m.
Despite all the spending, you can't help but feel that, like the crowds of shoppers fighting to get into H&M on December 27, once the clubs got home and inspected their purchases more carefully, they were left ruing the retail-fueled adrenaline high that saw them splash out on that superfluous Pascal Chimbonda.
ED looks back on a surprisingly free-spending month:
Surprise big spenders: No doubt Harry Redknapp will still complain that he is 'down to the bare bones', but he splashed out something in the region of £50 million on five players - three of which belonged to Spurs a year ago. Redknapp can expect little sympathy from the Tottenham faithful if he continues to slag off his players having assembled a squad that is arguably as good as the one that Martin Jol took to the brink of the Champions League. Well, it is arguably as good as Jol's team because it is arguably exactly the same. Jermain Defoe, Chimbonda and Robbie Keane are back - if the transfer window were a day longer ED wouldn't have been surprised to see 'Arry launch an audacious bid to re-sign Noureddine Naybet.
Biggest missed opportunity: Sam Allardyce has been congratulated for holding on to Roque Santa Cruz, but if Early Doors were a Blackburn fan it would slap him in his big, jowly face. Do you know how many times Santa Cruz has scored more than five league goals during his 10 seasons playing in Europe? Once. £18.5 million would have financed some serious reinforcements behind a very respectable strike force of Benni McCarthy, Jason Roberts and Matt Derbyshire. Instead, in a freak of geography, Derbyshire is now in Greece and Santa Cruz is in Lancashire.
Rafa's cracking up, part 62: On one hand, you can't really fault a team that gets something like £15m for a striker that scored five times in 19 games and couldn't even get on the subs' bench. On the other, if Fernando Torres's temperamental hamstrings go twang again, Liverpool's title hopes are in the hands of David N'Gog and Nabil El Zhar, neither of whom has ever scored in the Premier League.
HUBRIS: September 2008 - Dr Sulaiman al-Fahim, frontman of the Abu Dhabi United Group: "(Cristiano) Ronaldo has said he wants to play for the biggest club in the world, so we will see in January if he is serious. Real Madrid were estimating his value at $160m but to actually get him, will cost a lot more. But why not? We are going to be the biggest club in the world, bigger than both Real Madrid and Manchester United ... I need to meet the manager but the best players in the world average £30 million. We need a minimum of 18 players at that level."
NEMESIS: Febraury 2009 - Number of £30m players still required by Manchester City: 18.
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A raft of imminent last-minute moves meant ED spent the day in the company of Sky Sports News, which packed its team of roving reporters off to snowy outposts around the country while sweaty-palmed presenters in the studio quite literally counted down the seconds until the window closed.
If ED is honest, the coverage was actually not bad - but it ended up getting crushed under the weight of its own self-importance.
Bosses decided the only man who could convey the earth-shattering importance of it all was their-corporate stooge-in-chief Jim White (the odious Scottish one, not the nice Mancunian one who sits at a virtual typewriter next to ED).
This was the man who, when 'reporting' on Michael Owen's arrival at Newcastle in 2005, spontaneously told a two-thirds full St James' Park: "You're the best fans in the world!"
Such objectivity makes him perfect for deadline day, when a load of transfers everybody had known about for ages either happened or didn't.
White is a producer's dream - a man so totally lacking in perspective that he can announce Angelos Basinas's purchase by Portsmouth with such gravity you wonder if it might lead directly to a cure for world hunger.
He also plugs his employers shamelessly, affixing "live on Sky Sports News" to each and every sentence - as though the fact that the six red and blue logos flashing across the screen were not enough of a clue as to the channel's identity.
White's finest moment yesterday came when, apropos of nothing, he said the following without a hint of irony, humour or self-deprecation: "If you're Roque Santa Cruz, and there's no doubt he's sitting at home watching Sky Sports News at the moment..."
Out in the field, reporters had to deal with freezing weather and over-zealous fans outside their respective stadia and training grounds.
Rule one of show business is: 'Never work with children or animals' - the group of Gooners outside the Emirates ensured the luckless Brian Swanson had to put up with both.
Swanson's big moment came when he announced that the Arshavin deal would go ahead, but had his thunder comprehensively stolen by two youths chucking snow at each other six inches behind his left ear.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Usually I pay £40 to get this strip and I've got it for free." Willo Flood weighs up the possible eBay opportunities afforded by his move to Celtic.
FOREIGN VIEW: A quiet deadline day on the continent, where the only things changing clubs are coaches. Castellon's Abel Resino is, according to Marca, a certainty to replace Javier Aguirre at Atletico Madrid.
COMING UP: Arsenal's FA Cup replay against Cardiff has fallen victim to the elements but Burnley versus West Brom is on (for now). Follow that from 19:45 UK time along with whatever action survives the snow in the Championship, League One and League Two.