FARCICAL WINDOW IS A PAIN, LOANS ARE OK
DEADLINE day is fun to watch but the transfer window is a complete joke. It needs looking at, and soon.
For one thing, it should end in July, not six games into the season. For another, it forces organised, professional people to make rash decisions they wouldn’t normally dream of. Just look at the farce over David De Gea’s botched move from Manchester United to Real Madrid. If the two biggest clubs in the world can muck it up, so can anyone.
It happened to me once, with Gabby Zakuani at Orient in 2006. Me and Gabby had agreed with Barry Hearn that we wouldn’t sell him for less than £1m. Fulham had made three offers and right at the death they hit the target.
We sold Gabby and I ended up taking a lad, Clayton Fortune, from Bristol City. We wanted a senior player and that’s what he was, but it never worked out. I can remember thinking afterwards that I did rush into it and didn’t do enough homework.
The only positive – at least for lower league clubs – is that the loan window opens a week or two later.
Sometimes you’re better to wait because a lot of the bigger teams do their deals and end up with players surplus to requirements. It’s a real safety net for clubs in League One and Two, especially when you’re pretty powerless to stop big sides luring your best players away at the last minute.
There was talk about the loan system being ended but, if you’re going to keep the transfer window, it has to stay. Yes, a ban on loans would force clubs to play academy players. But to me, that would simply allow the clubs with the biggest budgets and squads to dominate. Without loan players, I think the standard of competition would suffer and the rise of a club like Bournemouth would be very unlikely.
Fairytales like that keep the game alive. What’s killing it is the window, not the loan market.