Is it time for the Premier League to change the date when the summer transfer window closes?
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew certainly thinks so.
“There is a question about the window being closed before we kick off the Premier League season,” Pardew told Sky Sports today.
“I know the Premier League asked the European leagues to do it and they wouldn’t fall in line. But after the summer we have had, the situations we have had, with (Wayne) Rooney as well, it is definitely something they need to put under the microscope again.”
Coming from Pards, it’s difficult not to read the above quote without hearing child-like sniffles. Yesterday the gaffer was left downright distraught after Arsenal tabled a bid of $16 million (£10.2m) for midfielder Yohan Cabaye just hours before the Magpies match against Manchester City.
The offer was enough to convince Pardew to hold Cabaye out of the match, implying that the playmaker’s head had been turned around so much that he wasn’t mentally fit to compete. It’s an amusing position on two levels – first because transfer speculation from Arsenal, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain has surrounded Cabaye all summer long and second because, well, who wants to play at Arsenal these days? (Just poking fun, Goonahs supporters. Keep your heads up.)
But putting aside Pardew’s absurd opinion that Arsenal’s bid was “disrespectful,” the 52 year old does have a point that the concept of the transfer window needs to be examined.
The current format has the window closing on September 2nd, just over two weeks after the start of the Premier League season. This means that clubs like Newcastle with transfer-target Cabaye, Swansea City with Michu and Ashley Williams, and Everton with Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, all face the possibility of losing key men after their seasons have started. Which without getting too technical, is just plain annoying.
So what exactly is the sense behind keeping the Premier League window open until September 2nd?
Under FIFA, each national football association decides on the time (such as the dates) of the window but it may not exceed 12 weeks. In England, the FA has opted for a nine week window to align itself with the other major European league windows in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
The Premier League can go in one of two directions to solve the current deadline issue: either end the window before the start of the season or wipe out the concept of a transfer window altogether and allow deals for players to be made year round like most other professional sports.
The later seems a pipe dream but the former a real possibility.
And with the amount of transfer rumor nonsense that football fans are forced to deal with over the course of a summer – would it be such a bad thing to end the drama when the season actually starts?