Transfer window gone wrong: how PL clubs blundered with the early closure

by Tony Attwood

While we have been trying to work out how Arsenal are going to get the squad numbers down to the requisite 25 players with no more than 17 non-HGs, most of the media has been continuing talking about who is going to be bought, without any regard for the regulations.

And this includes no regard to the fact that the window “slams” shut (it always slams, it never creaks) before the season starts.

Three clubs (Burnley, Everton and Tottenham H) have not signed any players whatsoever.  Now with Tottenham this might be because of concerns about finances with the new stadium having to be paid for, and Everton did go bonkers last summer with 14 players coming in.   Burnley bought eight last summer

Bournemouth, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Manchester City have each bought in one player.

So what happens now?  Is there going to be a huge rush for players in the remaining days before the season starts and the window closes?  Will there then be a huge rush of sales, with values pushed down because there are simply too many players in the market and no English clubs able to buy?

Certainly if Arsenal get stuck with their excess number of players who can’t be registered because of the 25 and 17 rules, then their value will shrink – everyone will know the last thing Arsenal wants is to have them on their books but not be able to play them.  In such a case I suspect most players would be offered to clubs in Portugal at knock down prices – for there the window doesn’t close until mid-September.

In retrospect it now looks like a decent idea to close the buying window early but it is one that the clubs can’t quite cope with.  More aggressive selling was needed from the start.

What we seem to have got is an astounding lack of business acumen by clubs who might be left with players they don’t want while the rest of Europe looks on in amusement offering to take the player for nothing just to reduce the wages bill.

To see the contrast in the regular transfer table based on data published by the Guardian I have now added under the club’s name last season’s in and out totals.  The “out” does not include loans – only sales, released and free transfers.  (Released don’t count as sales as it is a mutual cancellation of the contract).

Club In Cost Out Income Loaned out
Arsenal Lucas Torreira £26.4m Santi Cazorla Released Takuma Asano
’17 In: 2 Stephan Lichtsteiner Nil Jack Wilshere Released Kelechi Nwakali
’17 Out: 15 Bernd Leno £19.2m Hugo Keto Released
Sokratis £17.7m Marc Bola Released
Matteo Guendouzi £7m
Arsenal totals £70.3m 0 sales 2 loans
Chelsea Jorginho £50.4 Harvey St Clair Released 13 loaned player
’17 In: 8 Jordon Houghton Released
’17 Out: 13 Jonathan Panzo Undisclosed
Chelsea totals £50.4 1 sale 13 loans
Liverpool Naby Keïta £52.8m Emre Can Free Ovie Ejaria
’17 In: 5 Fabinho £40m Yan Dhanda Unknown Adam Bogdan
’17 Out: 9 Xherdan Shaqiri £13.5m Jordan Williams Released Harry Wilson
Alisson £65m Jon Flanagan Released
Paulo Alves Free
Liverpool totals £171.3m 1 sale 0 income 3 loans
Man City Riyad Mahrez £60m Yaya Toure Released Anthony Cáceres
’17 In: 7 Pablo Maffeo £8.1m Ashley Smith-Brown
’17 Out: 20 Will Patching Released Pablo Marí
Olarenwaju Kayode £2.6m Manu Garcia
Angeliño £5m Aleix Garcia
Javairo Dilrosun Unknown Paolo Hernandes
Jacob Davenport Unknown Edward Francis
Angus Gunn £10m Matt Smith
Rodney Kongolo £0.75m Anthony Cáceres
Isaac Buckley-Rickett Unknown
Ashley Smith-Brown Unknown
Man C totals £60m 7 sales £26.45 9 loans
Man United Fred £43.7m Joe Riley Unknown Dean Henderson
’17 In: 4 Diogo Dalot £19m Sam Johnstone £6.5m
’17 Out: 4 Lee Grant £1.5m Daley Blind £14.2m
Man U totals £64.2m 3 sales £20.7m 1 loan
Tottenham  Keanan Bennetts £2m
’17 In: 5 Anton Walkes Unkonwn
’17 Out: 7 Tottenham totals 0 2 sales £2m No loans

Only Arsenal has exceeded its buying of last year in terms of clubs in the top six from 2017/18.  None of the clubs is anywhere near the number of sales of last season, revealing the fact that they will focus on sales once the buying window is over.  That does look to me to be a very risky business – but then if no one is buying knowing that the PL has boxed itself into a corner, there is not much the clubs can do now.

It would appear that this summer there will be bargains galore from PL clubs for the rest of Europe to pick up.

Here are the expenditure summaries
  • Liverpool £171.3m (income 0)
  • Arsenal: £71.4 (income 0)
  • Manchester United £64.2m (income £20.7m)
  • Manchester City £60m (income £26.5m)
  • Chelsea £50.4m (income 0)
  • Tottenham £0m (income £2m)

There is also a question also about the remnants of Premier League FFP which is now based on salary increases.  I wonder how Liverpool will manage that.



4 Replies to “Transfer window gone wrong: how PL clubs blundered with the early closure”

  1. Once again the FA has made English football and themselves the laughing stock of Europe. Will it never end? Brook fields a joke please. I am on route to the dentist last time I went he was nervous!

  2. @Colario,
    As you plonk yourself down in the chair, reach out, gently grab his goolies and quietly say “We won’t hurt each other, will we.”
    It worked for me!
    (But it doesn’t work if you have a lady dentist!) 😉

  3. As these football clubs are multimillion businesses with a small army of accountants, lawyers, executives etc, then I would like to think that at least one person in their organisations knows how to count to 25 while briefly stopping at 17. On the other hand, perhaps you’re right.

  4. @ Nicky Sadly it was a man I would prefer a pretty woman I was there to teach him English, which was why he was nervous 🙂

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