Transfer window chaos – It’s nothing new…

The much maligned transfer window closed at 11pm on Monday.

Two windows a season have been a fixture of domestic football throughout Europe now since 2002/2003.

They were introduced following requirements for football governing bodies to further conform to European Commission regulations concerning restriction of the movement of players, as many national football associations had different rules and regulations.

So the system has been established for nearly eight years, however, continued moaning and objections from managers and media alike against the system persists, including Harry Redknapp and Paul Jewell describing the window as “a nonsense”. But really is this moaning going to change much and can we really go back to the ‘good old days’?

So many managers and clubs still use the transfer window restrictions as an excuse, mainly for their own failings. Yet the windows are now an established feature of the season, and of course, everyone else operates under those same constraints.

This January Swindon Town have secured five signings with Matt Ritchie arriving from Portsmouth, Jordan Pavett winning a Samsung TV, Aden Flint joining for £150,000 from Alfreton, Milan Misun signing until June 2013 and finally a forward joins as Eliot Benyon arrives from Torquay, a total of £475,000 for the four.

Sean Morrison and Charlie Austin have left for Reading and Burnley respectively for an initial receipt of £1,450,000 if the reports are to be believed.

We’ve benefited from the operation of a transfer window opening in January after four months closed.

For September, October, November and December we had Charlie Austin and Sean Morrison. The two contributed 22 goals, Morrison provided numerous assists and Austin continued to capture the imagination of the kids.

If no window operated then what’s to say they would’ve stayed around until January given our position?

If no window operated then do you think we’d secured a potential £2m deal for Austin? I don’t. The window benefits the selling club. That is undeniable given the explosion in Premier League fees with £35m for Andy Carroll.

Many argue the current transfer deadline days generate a flurry of panic buying and as Andrew Fitton put it.. “a freak marketplace”. Perhaps it does, but then it always did.

Lest not forget there always was a transfer window in England, it just shut in March.

Don’t you remember being glued to Ceefax page 302 following the new signings when they were announced in the same way you do watching Sky Sports News today? There was panic buying and plenty of activity to follow as the day unfolded.

Take 1996/1997 when Swindon signed 3 players in the final two days of the window. In 1995/1996 Town signed 4 players in the final week before it shut.

As for panic buying, lets not forget Jan Aage Fjortoft left in 1995 to join Middlesbrough as the window closed and Duncan Shearer was sold for £800,000 in a 1992 deadline day sabotage by Blackburn Rovers to derail our promotion bid.

It was just as a freak market place then as it is today, the only difference being then the Football League and early Premier League didn’t have massive TV deals, Arab Sheiks or Roman Abramovich. I’m sure if they were around then we’d see the same big money deals but at the end of March.

So when people call for a change to go back to how it was before those European bureaucrats interfered, it’ll just be the same, your club will lose the players they need earlier and you’ll just delay the deadline day ‘fun’.


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