I admit it; I am a fan of the transfer window. Yes, the usual suspects can’t help themselves whipping it up into a froth of speculation and wishful thinking around deadline day (a concept unknown when I was a kid). But, by and large, it has done the job it was intended to do: stop players and clubs being indefinitely destabilised by rivals. Of course is doesn’t always work. Anyone who recalls the unseemly spectacle of Manchester United stalking Dimitar Berbatov for a full year before they landed the player on the last day of the window knows that. And every year we have this repeated in some form. Still, it is nothing like it could have been.
The money that poured into the game with the creation and success of the Premiership turned our big clubs into giants. If you want to know how things might have turned out, take a look at some of the foreign leagues where one or two giants have got so used to getting what they want, smaller clubs around them and the local footballing establishment barely bother to put up a fight. We usually attribute the EPL’s relative competitiveness to the more equal distribution of revenue or fuzzier ideas of our sense of fair play but the window plays a part too. It is a hard limit on the power of the strong. We shouldn’t forget that or begrudge recognising its value.
Midfield General (ret.)