Please Mr Platini, don’t close the transfer window

August 29, 2008

CassanoMichel 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


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Most of the time it;s a complete waste, throwing good money after bad. And i agree with platini that you shouldnt be able to sign someone from the same league (or change coach for that matter) in the middle of the season.

Posted by lauder | Report as abusive

I don’t know. Before the transfer window was brought in, clubs in the Premier League seemed to get on fine with making transfers whenever they wanted. I can’t remember any mid-season transfers having a massive outcome on the result of a league campaign. And the papers were a bit more interesting in those days; now all the made-up transfer rumours are condensed into two month-long periods per year. Actually I can see how some people would prefer that.

Platini “points out the absurdity of a player scoring against a team one week and for them the next.”

Well, personally I quite like that absurdity. It’s football. I quite like that it’s a little bit unfair, illogical, chaotic, interesting and sometimes daft. But then Blatter, Platini and the other football politicians have never taken any notice of the truism “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.

Posted by Markg | Report as abusive

Why is it absurd that players can move from club to club in the of the season? Football is a business, and in most other business sectors you can go to work for a competitor whenever you like. Why should it be different for football?

Posted by Beth | Report as abusive

Er, football is not business. you don’t get two billion people tuning in to see what happens in the GE boardroom

Posted by Este | Report as abusive

or anything on nbc, for that matter

Posted by Este | Report as abusive

IMO i certainly do not fancy the Jan transfer window. I feel the ‘get out of jail’ scenario upsets the hardwork most teams put during the pre-season preparation. The PL should adopt a mid season break where teams could use the opportunity to rethink their strategy and motivate the players. This i believe wil be more competitive

Posted by Obidike | Report as abusive

Once and for all, we have to decide whether football is a business or entertainment. If it truly is a business (where is my sarcasm font; of course it’s a business), then you cannot deny clubs the opportunity to move and acquire players. Either leave it open indefinitely, or, you know, here’s a thought: force players to honor their contracts and don’t move them before deals expire. And if they sit out, here’s another thought–DON’T PAY THEM. 09/starting-eleven-football-blog-roundup .html

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive