Date:Wednesday January 24 2007
I might as well say straight away that I am not a fan of the transfer window and not just because of the current frustrations we are all suffering as Forest fans. The case for the transfer window is that it prevents players from smaller clubs from being picked off by larger clubs at any stage of the season and that it requires the manager to rely more on his abilities as a football brain and less on the wallet of his chairman. What is more, it is said that it will give young players the chance to shine on the big stage.
But I wonder if the clubs really benefit? Look at Sc@nthorpe, they have just lost one of their best players (Keogh) and only have a week to replace him. By not being able to do this, they may well miss out on promotion, possibly causing the team to be broken up and leaving them with a weakened squad and a complete re-building job on their hands. With more time, they may be able to get an adequate replacement and continue their surge towards the championship.
However, I am not sure the wealthier clubs benefit greatly either. Chelsea, have had to struggle on with Hilario in goal because of injuries to their first and second choice keepers. Boo-hoo it`s only Chelsea you might say but that is just an example at the top level. Many clubs in the premiership play with smaller squads as a result of players wages, leaving them even more susceptible to injuries and suspensions during times when the window is closed.
Villa boss Martin O`Neill has recently bemoaned the window for pushing up transfer prices further and I am inclined to agree. I have no doubt at Forest that Colin and Nigel might well feel the same as Mr O`Neill at the moment. I can well imagine that we have been quoted inflated prices as a result of our knife-edge position in the league table and relative wealth compared to our rivals.
In my eyes the only people who benefit from this system are - surprise, surprise, the players. Agents have lots of scope for asking for bigger salaries /signing on fees due to the time constraints of the window and the pressures on managers to bring in the players that will win trophies, qualify for Europe, stay up, etc. In addition, they also have the option of negotiating new contracts with their clubs who are terrified of losing them without being able to replace them in time, and so the viscous cycle continues.
Maybe in the long term this will turn out to be a good thing for English football but at the moment it seems like a change to merely come into line with the rest of Europe and nothing else. I for one hope that the window is a little kinder to Forest this year than it was in the past. Lest we forget the signings of Dobie, Harris, etc. due to panic in the January sales last year. I don` know that I need to say anymore.
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