The 2018 Premier League transfer window: The losers
2 months ago, 10 Aug 15:22
For the happier, cheerier transfer window winners, head here.
The Premier League
There are some sensible reasons for closing the transfer window before the season begins. It provides certainty, and allows managers to focus on what they’ve got – for better or worse – in the early weeks of the season rather than having to spin plates.
Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain playing against Liverpool at the start of the season and then joining them isn’t ideal. There is an inherent unfairness about a team that loses a player to serious injury on August 30 being able to do something about it while a team that loses player to serious injury on September 2 must wait four months.
So yes, closing the window before the season starts makes some sense. Just don’t introduce it in a World Cup year, and certainly not if you’re acting unilaterally.
Were this a UEFA-wide standard, things would make rather more sense.
As it is, several clubs have been left unable to complete their business due to the inability to offload deadwood to continental clubs in no kind of rush, and they don’t even have the certainty of knowing that the squad they have now is their squad until January due to the window remaining open for all other European clubs.
Maybe one fudged solution would’ve been an August 9 deadline for intra-league deals and the usual August 31 deadline for signings from abroad. That would at least solve the Oxlade-Chamberlain issue, while it would also likely lead to even more inflated prices for overseas players in the closing weeks of the window.
It’s also fair to make the point that this early closure probably only really affects the biggest clubs, and balls to them quite frankly. They are the ones with the big squads, they are the ones with players who may be tempted away by the European superclubs – the only ones now able to compete with even bottom-half Premier League cash. Rival fans need shed no tears for the big clubs’ woes.
But for the league overall it’s a self-inflicted wound. The early closure of the window makes it harder for the other big clubs to resist an era of Manchester City Premier League domination that would damage The Brand.
And it is the biggest clubs that define the league around the world. A Premier League winner of the Champions League is overdue given the league’s obscene wealth. Yet at a time when the Spanish domination of that competition looks flimsier than it has in several years, the early window has left two of England’s four entrants demonstrably weaker than they might have been.
The English have made a bad decision and put themselves at a self-inflicted disadvantage compared to the rest of Europe. When you do that, it’s best to just abandon the silliness before you do needless and irreparable damage to your country top-flight football.
“I have very clear ideas of what we need to do. I don’t know if the club will agree with me or not. We are ...
Category: sports football