In a surprise change to recent years, Liverpool concluded more than £100M worth of deals in the January transfer window. Bringing in £56M for two attackers and sending a further £57.8M out the door.
My opinion of the winter transfer window isn’t a particularly strong one either way. However, what it has shown Liverpool fans is that we had a disgruntled player who was considering leaving Liverpool in the summer who went through the motions until his move arrived in the winter.
Whilst the media circus absolutely adore the winter transfer window, you do have to consider it’s impact.
Should cash rich clubs who made poor decisions in the summer get to unsettle other players stars and correct their decisions mid-season. Is this ‘fair competition’? Is the premium paid in the winter really beneficial to the clubs supporters who have pumped their hard earned money in to the club?
The Winter transfer window was introduced as, we are told, it was a comprise with the European Union and the Football Players unions. They said it was against the spirit of free movement in the job market to stop players transferring for a period of 8 or 9 months.
This is true.
The Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore has come out in criticism of the transfer window. The Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson even said:
”It’s the least worst system.
”The alternatives are for it be open all season, which from an integrity of competition point of view, let alone managers’ or fans’ stress levels, is not sustainable – imagine having to worry every month until March whether you can hold on to your talent. Or for it to be closed all season, which is something that European employment regulators simply won’t countenance.”
But the Premier League’s shrugging of shoulders – nothing we can do approach – is a fallacy. If they really didn’t believe it was ‘fair’ then they could do something about it.
Nobody should stop the movement of players if they want to go but the Premier League and the European competitions are exactly that – competitions. They can decide the rules of the competitions.
There is nothing to stop the Premier League taking a list of of all players registered at a club on the 1st September and insisting that no new players can be registered for the competition until it finishes.
Surely that creates a level playing field?
Players could still move freely in the winter, but if they aren’t going to be able to play in the tournaments ‘which are already underway’ then would there be such a clamour for players. Would £200M+ have been spent on players if they couldn’t play until next season?
In Formula 1, if Ferrari are having a rubbish season – they can’t change drivers mid-season. When did anybody ever suggest the introduction of a summer transfer window in Formula 1?
The Premier League and UEFA can pretend that they don’t like the unsettling winter transfer window – but if they meant their words – they could do something about it.
This is just another example where football’s governing bodies pretend to be angry and shake their firsts, before turning around – lighting up their cigar and laughing.
What do you think? Is the Winter transfer window fair to all clubs? Should it stay or go? And are those who run the Premier League and UEFA full of words and no action?