THE last few days have been a bumper one for accountants, private health hospitals, solicitors, agents and the like who are involved with the football industry.
It’s transfer window time again with the deadline set at 6pm on Tuesday, August 31. September 1 is also the deadline for Premier League clubs to announce their 25 man squads so a host of decisions weren’t made until to the last minute.
Those players not in those squads were then left to make a late dash to engineer a loan move to another Premier League outfit or one in the Championship.
Complicating matters was the fact that Monday, August 30 was a bank holiday in England so there were two days when normal facilities such as the Football League and Premier League offices, where transfer are registered, weren’t functioning.
This all set up Tuesday to be a day of frenzied activity with clubs desperately trying to conclude deals and at the same time cramming in comprehensive medical checks to make sure that they weren’t buying a crock and agents trying to get the best contracts possible for their players.
Not surprisingly, some wiser football managers like Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger and Wigan’s Roberto Martinez, argued that the window should end once the season starts but wisdom is not an attribute one normally associates with football’s administrators.
The whole concept of a transfer window, imposed on England by FIFA, remains open to question and surely it is only a matter of time before its legality over restriction of an individual’s right to change his place of employment, will be challenged in the courts.
For smaller clubs, the loss of the chance to cash in on an asset outside two restricted periods within a season, can be very damaging.
Imagine the plight of a League Two club facing financial ruin but with a star striker whose sale could raise several hundred thousand pounds. They’ve found a buyer who is willing to hand over the cash immediately but they can’t sell because it’s their bad luck to go bust in November!
Whilst we are on the subject of stupid rules, one that particularly irritates me reared its ugly head again at the weekend.
Jason Kennedy, a midfielder with League One side Rochdale netted the winning goal in his side’s 3-1 win at Brentford but was then sent off. His celebrations with the away fans earned him a second yellow card.
Kennedy told the BBC: “The main thing is the three points but obviously from my point of view I was delighted with my first goal for the club, then obviously straight after the disappointment of getting sent off which personally the emotions got the better of me.
“The ref’s got to abide by the law, players when they score they want to celebrate with the fans and the rest of the players and there should be like a bit more leniency towards that I think.”
When I watched the highlights on BBC television I noticed that Kennedy ran to the boardings behind the goal after scoring but only spent a few seconds hugging supporters before turning away.
What made matters even worse is that you can see the referee giving an apologetic shrug of his shoulders to the player as he produces the red card.
His attitude seems to be: “Sorry mate, I’m only following the rules.”
I was screaming out at the TV: “Use your common sense you muppet and put the damn card away!”
Common sense also seems to be absent from the boardroom of League One club Southampton who sacked manager Alan Pardew on Monday, only two days after their 4-0 win over Bristol Rovers.
Saints, who started the season as favourites to win promotion, are currently 14th in the League One table but have only played THREE league matches!
“The club has decided that, to achieve its well known targets, it is essential to make changes to the management,” said a Southampton statement. “We recognise that frequent changes to the football management are unlikely to assist in the winning of trophies and promotions. However, we are taking these steps to achieve our aims, which we share with all supporters, to get promoted this season, and secure long term stability and progress for our football operations.”
What piffle! If that was their view why didn’t their change managers in summer, instead of waiting for the season to get under way?