Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Managers Loathe Summer Transfer Window but Will Anyone Ask FIFA to Shut It Early?

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Managers Loathe Summer Transfer Window but Will Anyone Ask FIFA to Shut It Early?

Article excerpt

Byline: JamesOlley Chief Football Correspondent

[bar] HE transfer window should close before the start of the season. You know it, I know it and it appears that most Premier League managers know it, too.

It is simply incompatible with the notion of integrity that competitive sport can be played by individuals who do not know if they are about to change sides; Victor Moses has played for Wigan against Chelsea this season and could yet do the reverse (if he gets anywhere near the first team).

Managers including Andre Villas-Boas, Arsene Wenger and Martin Jol have made public their contempt for a system that extends the transfer talk silly season into the season proper.

Villas-Boas alluded to it at the pre-season Premier League managers' meeting, also attended by the League Managers' Association, when the issue was raised to great nodding of heads.

Privately, the Premier League supports the idea in principle -- were a motion to be tabled -- to begin lobbying FIFA. So why doesn't English football do something? Seemingly, the drive to affect real change with a widely agreeable proposal simply does not exist, regardless of protestations to the contrary.

[pounds sterling]spent by League It is understood that there is no mandate from clubs at director level, or any proposal at shareholders meetings, to bring forward the closure date of the window.

Managers moan. It is part of the job description. Yet in this instance the case for change appears overwhelming.

A pan-European transfer deadline of August 1 would give all clubs at least two weeks -- and in many cases more -- to gel their new squad before beginning the campaign.

Newly-promoted clubs could argue to the contrary, particularly those that reach the top division via the play-offs. They may legitimately claim to need all the time they can get to overhaul their squad, as would new managers thrust into jobs and requiring the maximum period to bring in targets.

But, as Wenger pointed out last week, the current window is unnecessarily long. "The transfer market is open for two months and for one month and three weeks, it is nearly closed," he said. …

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