Why the January transfer window should be shut.

Ah, the January transfer window; the time of year when clubs start panic buying in the hope of signing the player(s) that can give them an extra push towards the finish line of the end of the season.

However, not everyone likes the transfer window, because not only is it a time when clubs panic buy, it is also a time when transfer fees soar with being players bought for copious amounts of money when in a couple of months time they turn out to be a white elephant. Two classic examples that spring to my mind are Robinho and Dimitar Berbatov.

Last week Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn came out and criticised the transfer window saying that the only beneficiary is the agents.“Put it this way, if I was a football agent and I got all the other agents together and said: ‘How can we get more money out of these clubs?’ we would invent a transfer window system,” was what Quinn told the club’s official website.

Now, I am not a fan of the transfer window myself because I don’t think it really has any purpose, why stop clubs from buying players from September till January? I personally think that the window should either be abolished totally or extended and is opened up from June right up until the 31st of December. It makes more logical sense, at the half way point of the season your team is either doing the business in the league or not.

Today is the 22nd of January and so far there have been no big marquee signings that you could write home about. Economic crisis are two words which have become clichés in the past year or so but it is only now football is starting to feel the pinch. Football has been swimming is a sea of money for a long, long time now, and it is soon in danger of drowning.

Wolves chief Steve Morgan said recently that this “live now, pay later” attitude in football has got to stop. He went on to say: “You can’t keep hocking your future. It’s like pawning your family silver.”

Liverpool are in debt, as are Manchester United, Portsmouth, Everton, and Hull. Chelsea have been lucky in finding Russian owner Roman Abramovich, who recently cleared all their debts. And Manchester City despite the great losses that were reported recently are being bankrolled by their Sheiks. But overall football in England is about £3billion in debt.

Too many clubs over the years have gambled on future earnings, which subsequently backfired on them, the classic example is Leeds, who were the masterminds of their own demise, but currently West Ham have done, so have Portsmouth, and even Manchester United.

Perhaps, in these recessionary times there should be a call for pragmatism. Football should go back to its grass roots. Players who have played in the 60s and 70s must be sick at the thought of what players are earning these days, compared to what they earned. I definitely think that the transfer window needs to change, not only that, the football clubs must change also.

Huge debts can no longer be acceptable, and something will have to be done to pay them off. A possibility is enforcing transfer embargos on clubs who are in an unacceptable level of debt, which at the moment would possibly be every Premier League club. Also, who is going to tell Sir Alex Ferguson he can’t buy any players?

We are struggling to answer the questions of how much debt each club is in, which is why a comprehensive report needs to be on every club. New owners of clubs should be vetted. But, the big question without an answer is – when will we actually see any forward thinking in football? Do we have to have another big club to do a Leeds?

I’m worried for the future of football, because we never know what is around the corner, but, certainly what I can see foresee is a big club crashing in the not so distant future, albeit I don’t want to it happen, however, it is only a matter of time.


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