Please Mr Platini, don’t close the transfer window
Michel Platini makes a perfectly reasonable point about the transfer system when he points out the absurdity of a player scoring against a team one week and for them the next.
It is patently daft that a club can buy a player from one of their rivals halfway through the season and put him to work for them. It distorts the competition in several ways and is clearly unfair.
And yet… I think it would be a shame if we threw out the current system entirely, or failed to come up with another version that would still give clubs the option of buying a ‘get out of jail free’ card once it’s clear things are going wrong.
There’s just something immensely comforting for fans at the thought of your whole season changing if you make the right signing during the transfer window (or before deadline day in the old money).
More often than not the clubs get it wrong — think Real Madrid spending five million euros on Antonio Cassano in 2006 — but Liverpool fans will remember Ronny Rosenthal coming in to inspire a title charge in 1990 and more recently Henrik Larsson, Emmanuel Adebayor and Patrice Evra have done well after arriving in the January transfer window.
If we do away with the transfer window clubs will still have the lifeline of their youth teams as the season reaches its climax; indeed, it may even give homegrown talent more of a chance.
I still think it would be a shame, though. If your team is bottom of the league with half the season gone at least there’s a chance, however small, that a couple of astute signings could make all the difference.
And that feeling that there is still hope is a large part of what being a football fan is all about. Don’t you reckon?
PHOTO: Real Madrid’s Antonio Cassano reacts after missing a chance against Real Betis at the go Bernabeu, March 19, 2006. REUTERS/Felix Ordonez