The news that Premier League clubs are contemplating shutting the transfer window before the season begins is not a specific surprise. Complaints from everyone in the sport are longstanding that transfer company dragging on alongside football provides much of a diversion as gamers sulk and fly brokers scheme. Philippe Coutinho’s present situation is the most notable recent example: a back injury is the official reason for his present unavailability but, because of Barcelona looming having an enormous heap of money, one imagines he won’t play for Liverpool until September, assuming he isn’t sold before. That’s five games, including a match against Arsenal along with two legs of a Champions League play-off.
In addition to this managers need to deal about who’s coming in and who’s leaving, the implication being that buying players is the way a staff may have.
“It’s a massive error from Uefa,” stated Pep Guardiola this summer. “I think the market should complete when we begin the season. It is too long, too big.” And again in 2015 Arsène Wenger said: “Does it bother me that the window remains open? Yes, since it creates uncertainties. At the beginning of the season everybody ought to be dedicated, not half-in, half-out.”
The feeling that the whole thing is a media construct is hard to escape, all leading up to this “occasion” of deadline day, bringing the state news of what numbers to admin being finished in the buildings behind them, presumably strongly thinking about the life decisions that led them to the stage.
Changing the parameters of the transfer window will only bring that forward but it would at least remove the absurdity of these times when games are played on 31 August. This year deadline day is in the center of the break, which might provide japes.
And yet the chance to join players while games are still going on may be a positive also, only because managers can make more educated decisions on what works and what doesn’t. We’re all aware that pre-season games mean so they’re stuck with until January why should make decisions?
“It would make life much easier if the transfer window completed the day before the season starts but I think there is an advantage in that, if you are three or four matches in and you feel like you’re missing something, you have still got an chance to strengthen.”
A supervisor might think as soon as they play some games that he might realise the midfield is great or the centre-forward has lost his touch or the player although his staff are fine during the summer. A couple of weeks in August with the transfer window may not be perfect but at least it gives teams an opportunity to repair things based on evidence. Any effort to execute this change are a logistical impossibility, given the times at which seasons start. Had the transfer window closed on 10 August this year, it would have been available for the rest of Europe for the following 3 weeks, meaning Coutinho would have been looking up flights. This means, if a player makes such a spectacle or an offer so large arrives that a club has little choice but to sell, they could still replace him: if Premier League clubs handle themselves as an island and finish only their own window early, they are left with the worst of all worlds.
Of course the option is to scrap the transfer window completely and return to the days when motions could happen throughout the season. Panic-buying would be removed and his job could be spread by Daniel Levy rather than turning it. It’s worth remembering that move windows take the choice for clubs away by selling a participant to raise cash. Could Guardiola Wenger and Klopp really welcome the joys of being asked in each press conference about transfers, as opposed to only in August and January? This way they — and we — can concentrate on soccer between September and December, then May and February.
The method by which in which the transfer process is set up is a far from ideal. Removing transfer windows would be beneficial. However, Premier League clubs voting to end it simply because it makes things cluttered for them feels like a house that could create more problems.