Trans­fer dead­line is like a Brian Rix farce

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

WELL, it’s that time of year again. A week to go un­til dead­line day and ev­ery man­ager in the coun­try is try­ing to put the fin­ish­ing touches to his squad.

You’re meet­ing with your as­sis­tant, your scout and your chief exec. You’ve al­ready done the hard yards in terms of find­ing play­ers – now, it’s just about that fi­nal push to get them on board.

And nowa­days, there are so many hur­dles. You’ve got to talk to the agent, to the di­rec­tors, to the owner.You have to meet the player and even be­fore you can talk terms you have to talk him into join­ing your club.

When I was younger, you just used to ring the man­ager, agree a fee, and be­fore any­one knew it, you’d signed them.

There’s re­ally no such thing as a straight­for­ward trans­fer now and that’s why you see such crazy things hap­pen­ing in the Pre­mier League.

I had an un­be­liev­able time at QPR.We had four dif­fer­ent play­ers in four dif­fer­ent boxes at 6pm on dead­line day!

They all had to have med­i­cals, they all had dif­fer­ent agents. I had a new chief exec and we were run­ning from box to box try­ing to sort things out.

We’ve had one where the fax was go­ing through at the last minute and you don’t know un­til about ten min­utes af­ter the dead­line that it’s ac­tu­ally been ac­cepted. It was ab­so­lute chaos, like a Brian Rix farce.

Is it en­joy­able? It de­pends who you’re work­ing for. If you’ve got a good chief exec who knows the trans­fer mar­ket and can deal with agents, it doesn’t half help.

Some clubs I’ve been at, they CEO has been noth­ing but help­ful, talk­ing to ev­ery­one and show­ing real de­ter­mi­na­tion to get things done.

Fright­en­ing

Un­for­tu­nately, at oth­ers, that hasn’t been the case. They look af­ter the money for their di­rec­tors and try­ing to sign play­ers is like ex­tract­ing teeth.

Still, at least it’s not as do-or­die as the Pre­mier League, be­cause you can still loan play­ers in the Football League. If you get an in­jury, you only have to wait a week.

It re­ally is fright­en­ing in the Pre­mier League when that win­dow closes on Septem­ber 2nd and then you get a cou­ple of in­juries.

For the clubs com­ing up, like Hull and Palace, it’s a night­mare be­cause they can’t af­ford to have a big squad. I don’t envy them this week.

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