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Stop the transfer madness

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By Walter Broeckx

A new season is upon us. But as the rules are so silly with regards to transfers it could well be that any team that starts the season could be a completely different team come 1 September.

I think Fifa and Uefa should do something about this. Because this is just very disturbing for all people involved.

For the players: will their transfer dream come true or will they have to stay? It could come true and then turn in to a nightmare but that is another matter. But how can a player be focused on his job when he is being sold every day in the media?  So if you want the players to perform you must make sure their head is turned to the playing side of things.

For the team managers: how can they know and pick their team and be sure that all the players are committed to the full 100%? Will the player he picks today still be a player of the club tomorrow? Hard to tell sometimes.

For the supporters: how can we cheer for our players if we don’t know we will have them at the club the whole season?

I think it is stupid how the transfer period is being dragged into the league season of almost all the countries. It makes everybody feel unhappy and gives lots of unrest in the dressing rooms and in stadiums. Not to mention on the blogs.

I think Fifa should impose stricter transfer periods in football. And in fact I think it is rather simple to avoid all those rumbling and rumours when the season has started. We should make a distinction between the internal transfer market and the international transfer market.

The international transfer market should be open when there is no football. For the leagues that play in the winter this will be a period somewhere in the summer. Now you could ask what to do with the leagues who play in the summer. Well in most of these leagues there is a summer break of a few weeks. So it will be this summer break that has to be the same and has to be imposed if needed by Fifa which should be the open international transfer market.

This would mean that teams from different countries will have around 3 or 4 weeks time to do their business on a moment when there is no football played. So no disruptions of leagues at all.

The internal transfer market in a country could be longer. Because when buying and selling between clubs from the same country/league is happening this could be done in the time when there is no competitive football. In England one could say that the internal transfer market could be open from the start of June till the start of August. That would be two months for every club to sell and buy players within their country.

So you would end up with two different periods : the international transfer market of around one month and the internal transfer market of around two months. As a result this will mean that at the start of the season the players know their fate, the managers know who they have in their team and the supporters know that all the players that are in the club will be there for the rest of the season.

Now you might say: and what with the winter transfer period? Well this is also rather simple to resolve. For countries who play a summer league and who have a long winter they can transfer players within their country in that time.

And for teams that play a winter league but have a break in the winter they can do internal transfers in that period also.

And for international transfers in the winter I would suggest that this is only possible in countries where they have a winter break or a summer league. But players can only be bought and sold during a period when there is an official break.

And yes I am fully aware of the fact that this could mean that England has no winter transfer any more. But this will be the choice of the English FA to have a break or not. Let us say that the English FA would say: we have a break from  5 January till 12 January and no games can be played in that period then it is a winter break and transfers could happen in that period.

But then again only internal between clubs in the same country and international only with other countries who also have a winter break at that moment.

So there will be no more players who play in a club and then while a league game is going on are on the coach to a game, suddenly know that their transfer has been done and three days later play for another team.

It would make the time shorter to do transfers and maybe for Arsenal this would be a bad thing with our long negotiations but on the other hand and more importantly it would bring the endless and tiring rumours to an end.

Once the league (any league) has started the dealing should be over and done and only what is happening on the field should be of importance. Oh well, I can dream of a more perfect world, can I?

Jádson Rodrigues da Silva in talks with Arsenal

Arsenal transfers, an alternative perspective

All the background…

Support Arsenal, join the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association

Untold Arsenal: you know it makes sense

Arsenal History: what used to make sense

Making the Arsenal: when nothing made sense


27 comments to Stop the transfer madness

  • Allan

    i totally agree that the window should close when the season starts but i cant see different dates for national or intl transfers happening, if you have to sell say an english player and wanted to buy a foreigner that was better/more suitable you may not be able to. better to try to coordinate leagues better, at least regionally.

  • Aussie Jack

    It`s been my opinion for some time that contracts should be limited to a maximum of three years from the age of eighteen and be binding. Long term contracts affect club and player, both get restless, things change. I once signed a long term contract of 14 years when I was only fifteen years of age and I grew to hate every minute of it. Had it been three years with options I would have accepted it happily. And, before anyone says you have to be eighteen to enter into a contract, tell that to the Royal Navy.

  • Gooneraside

    Good points all round, Walter.
    It seemed at the time to be a drastic change when they (FIFA?, the english FA?) stopped season-round transfer windows and allocated two specific periods. I don’t remember there being many transfers made outside the season in those past days. Maybe because most transfers were internal anyway.
    But do they need to tweak the existing time-frames? Or should they be concentrating on the more-important issues, such as goal-line technology, improving referee capabilities (present company excepted 🙂 )?

  • jaymin

    We can’t just change the rules because the existing order doesn’t seem to go our way. At a certain moment, and I would suggest this particular one, in which we lose our two best midfielders to clubs seen as more ambitious, perhaps we should look within? I mean, this is an unmitigated disaster, which our club has allowed to transpire. We take forever to conduct transfers because we try and underbid. worked in the past, doesn’t work anymore. rather, we look unambitious and therefore unappealing for the cescs, nasris, van persies, and walcotts of the football world. I don’t understand why this isn’t evident to you guys, whom I respect and read every day. We live in the world, so we have to play by its rules. Idealistically what you propose is fantastic, but it’s only ever going to be an ideal.

  • bc

    More importantly define the domestic and international calendars. international call ups a few days before the season kicks off are pathetic. still at least we all now know how to stop your players playing international football – telly anyone?

    seriously though i know it would be difficult with the different weather extremeties but there could also be a winter break when the acn could be played.

  • Arvind

    I think the simplest thing would be to reduce the size of the transfer window to before any friendlies start. So the whole team is together for a period before the season starts. That’d be a start.

    Secondly just abolish the January transfer window; maybe loan deals for players who have played less than 5 games in the first 6 months and are registered are allowed; if the club wants the same.

  • Jaymin

    We take forever to conduct transfers because we try and underbid.

    Where on earth do you get this sort of information from? There’s hardly anything of importance going through at the moment, and Arsenal have in fact done more transfers than most clubs this summer (three plus one work permit).

    On transfers, strangely I think the opposite of you Walter. I thought it would be better if we had no window at all, and anyone could transfer whenever they wanted. That would take all the pressure off.

  • walter

    Just imagine Tony the Cesc saga every day of our live in the last years. Oh, well it was almost that way in fact… In fact has there been one day without a Cesc to Barcelona report in the last years? Oh well it might come to an end soon….
    Unless we suddenly hear Wenger saying: No, the offer wasn’t enough to our likings, so Cesc here is the shirt go out and play.

  • Kentetsu

    I don’t see two windows going to work well. As soon as the international window is closed, a club like Man City can lure away your best players, while you will have to settle for an inferior player from the domestic league because you can no longer buy proper replacement abroad.
    I do agree, though, that the transfer window should be closed before the competition start. One month should be long enough for the summer window, two weeks for in winter.

  • mick

    jaymin….
    You may call it underbidding, others may call it not paying over the odds. If you were buying a car would you pay a couple of grand more than the book price. Of course not, especially if it was your own money. If someeone else was paying then it probably wouldn’t bother you. It is very easy for supporters to urge all sorts of profligate spending in the mad chase for glory without the responsibility the manager and directors have. It is not a case of being unambitious just sensible, and I would rather the custodians of our club be prudent. Or would you prefer to put the club at risk of doing a Leeds in order to win that elusive trophy. In the case of Nasri only he knows whether it is ambition or money that is drving him to seek new pastures, though I know which I think it probably is.

  • JohnT

    Your comments don’t make sense. First if there was no transfer window, a team could be disrupted just when they are on a run of wins and the star player is being chased by a bigger club. Second as to your comments about there being a transfer window only when there is no football. It’s very EPL centric. You might not be aware but other leagues (i.e. The Americas, Nordic and Russian leagues) are continuing when the EPL finishes. Yes there is uncertainty about the team while the transfer window is open but once it closes, the team can focus on football.

  • TinTin

    Tony,
    of the number of transfers we’ve done how many are over 20?? and we do underbid and drag our heels thats why we lost out on Mata and Alvarez this summer. Big few weeks ahead 2 of our best and most experienced are leaving they need to be replaced and with men not kids

  • Well there hasn’t always been a transfer window – certainly wasn’t one in the early days of football (up to 1911) and yet there was a very active transfer market.

    It was then introduced for the last few weeks of the season (the transfer deadline). The current system came in, in 2002/3.

    It is effectively a restraint of trade, but the EC has allowed it to operate because of the special position of football.

  • mick

    Whilst I agree that the current system leaves a lot to be desired I think Walters suggestions is somewhat complicated and could result in ‘brain damage’ for some of the managers. It is a similar situation to penalty shootouts, we all know they are not perfect but what do you replace them with?

  • WalterBroeckx

    John T, I think I had told about the summer leagues and the solution for that in the article somewhere.

  • Just a note to anyone posting and finding their posts are not printed. If you try and use this post which is about the European regulations on transfers, to talk about a different topic, you simply won’t see your post.

    It is a rule of the site, and has been since day 1.

  • bob

    Walter, all,
    Viewing from an Untold Media pov, I’d say that the madness of the endless-forever transfer windows serves a media/advertiser purpose. That it exists in no small part because the media can so effectively stir and capture so much fan attention to so many media outlets. Because zillions of fans will tune in for the latest tidbit and in the process be exposed to the accompanying adverts on TV, radio, papers, online. It’s hard to quantify this, but audience size is obviously measured to set advertising rates and the main purpose of media is less to inform (as we know) but to serve as vehicles for bringing adverts (that create profits) to the customers who see them. The greater captive audiences that the transfer season can bring (boosting circulation and viewership), the higher the advertising rates and the more desirable each outlet to the advertister. In sum, the endless transfer window is a massive profit center. Plus it keeps the EPL always on the boil, front and center, nearly as much as the football season itself.

  • Notoverthehill

    Bob, how many zeros in a zillion????

  • bob

    Notoverthehill,
    That would be a zillion zeros. (Sorry but my calculator broke. Maybe you could try it on your abacus?)

  • bob

    Notoverthehill,
    (p.s. Here’s another hint on how man zeros in a zillion: it’s as many souls it takes to fill the Albert Hall.) Btw, I’d welcome any reaction to the substance of my comment, just above, so I could replay with more than a zero reaction. Up to you, of course.

  • rusty

    I believe France and Brazil are among the countries that structure their transfer windows differently for swaps among domestic clubs… at least, according to Football Manager.

  • bob

    Walter,
    Going back to our exchanges of last season, are you possibly considering/re-considering doing a Vidic Watch? or a Rooney watch? I predict the obvious – that calls and non-calls around these two will play, at some point, a massive part in their hoped for march to the Rednose 20 and Sauron’s coronation as Lord Football. Perhaps some UA monitoring eyes upon those lads can play a wee part in postponing that victory parade? Please do consider…

  • eche

    The world of football u people are advocating for does not exist, the earlier u understand it the better for you as it will save you from living in fantasy. That world is the same world that wenger is living in, look at the quality of squad of manu, mancity, liverpool and chelsea and think logically speaking whether arseanl can mount a title challenge with this young, injury prone, 40000 pounds a week players.

  • bob

    eche,
    just curious, so that we can play on a level pitch: in the interest of full disclosure and fair play,who’s your club? mine’s arsenal. let’s have a proper comparative view of football goings on. otherwise you’re just a spirit sniper in hiding.

  • walter

    Bob,
    we will do the MU games this as much as we possibly can. And in reviewing the ref we also will be able to see how Vidic/ferdinand and the rest have been treated by the refs at the end of the season.

  • bob

    Walter,
    Thanks on that. I hope you’d consider highlighting any Vidic/ferdinand/Diverboy controversy that might on the off chance even slightly favor these paragons of virtue as Sir Fergus gets primed, like Caesar, to “bestride the (football) world like a colossus” and, with Rednose aglow, steps forward, sets clammy hands on that trophy, all streamy with red/white/blue ribbons and, in his moment of the Rednose 20th, then transitions to become Lord Football, as the House of Lords opens its pearly gates and the supporting agros strew rose petals and he humbly accepts, with due humility, that, in the words of The Sun, he personifies all that is right and good about football and a grateful nation smiles in self-congratulation. Oh happy day!

  • bob

    p.s. And lo, by most special invitation, Dowd and Bussacca and and the Webbmeister and Riley will gratefully attend, on bended knee, and, with child-like tears in yellowed eyes, purse their bloodless lips and affix them to The Ring. “Nothing too good for the working class,” Fergie muttered to an approving nod from a smiling Ruppie, as his host of scribes and stenographers typed feverishly to produce The Good News for the next day’s commute. (This vision of “paradise” is why UA matters to me.)