Transfer window circus not a great advert for football

Football Transfer window news:United sign Marouane Fellaini from Everton
United sign Marouane Fellaini from Everton

When the official transfer window closed at 23:00 GMT on Monday 31st August 2013, it followed a crazy night of transfer speculation, deals and blame accusations. The entire charade of last-minute offers and negotiations was played to a combined media and twitter audience and begs the question as to whether we need such a window.

The fact that many millions of pounds were spent in the last two hours before the deadline, including the Mesut Ozil and Marouane Fellaini deals, highlights several possibilities. It may be that the scale of the money being exchanged was less important than the need to appease fans who were desperate for summer signings and also to relieve the pressure on over-stressed managers.

It also raises the prospect that agents will simply raise their fees just to assist with the speedy completion of a deal when they may have been responsible for the delay initially. Which manager, chief executive or director of football will baulk at the idea of added expenditure to a contract when the need for the closure of a transfer is paramount with the clock ticking ever so faster.

It is apparent that some transfers can be negotiated fairly quickly while others become so embroiled in complex detail that they dominant the back-pages for months. Perhaps the transfer window helps in resolving the more high-profile transactions much to the relief of everybody, but is there not a better solution to all of this last minute mayhem.

The old system of a free-for-all was probably a bit outdated and allowed for the disruption of management team planning throughout the season. Football clubs could buy and sell players at any stage and continuity could easily be affected, but why not impose a restriction on the number of incoming players per campaign.

There may be a need to check the European Union working practices laws to deem the legality of such a move, but a quota on the number of signings per season would certainly lead to several managers being more selective without the need secure players before an artificial deadline.

At the moment, managers cannot predict injuries ahead of a new season and so they try to assemble as much cover as possible prior to September, with a brief respite during January.

Such a system would also remove the constant messages appearing on social network sites condemning those same managers for their inactivity with just a few hours to the current transfer deadlines.

The current transfer window has been described as exciting, but does it reap any benefits for football when millions of pounds of spent in such a small time-scale with scant regard for its value.

John Welsh

John Welsh

A freelance sports writer specialising in football, horse racing, cycling, athletics and betting. Also, the author of book [sc:bookbiolink], a novel covering the exploitation of young African footballers and their experiences in Europe.
[email protected]
John Welsh

John Welsh

A freelance sports writer specialising in football, horse racing, cycling, athletics and betting. Also, the author of book [sc:bookbiolink], a novel covering the exploitation of young African footballers and their experiences in Europe. [email protected]

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