League managers want January transfer window scrapped

Last updated : 31 January 2011 By Covsupport news/RD

Richard Bevan the chief of the League Managers Association has said the The Premier League, Football League, Football Association and the Professional Footballers Association are all in agreement that the January transfer window should be dropped as it is not serving the purpose for which it was set up.

Richard Bevan, speaking on BBC Midlands Late Kick Off program, said, "It doesn't do what it was looking to when it came in."

"It doesn't create stability, it doesn't create a level playing field, and certainly in the Football League they are very keen the domestic window is removed."

He added, "Key stakeholders in the game, the Premier League, Football Association, Football League, the FA the LMA and the PFA, would like to see it scrapped."

The current scheme of having two transfer windows is a FIFA ruling and so transfer are only permitted from 1 to 31 January and 1 June to 31 August  in England.

The argument in favour of abolishing the transfer windows is essentially that it destabilises lower league clubs and put unnecessary pressure on league managers to get short  term success. Failure to win games at the right time of the year is leading to too many managers being sacked either just prior to, or during a transfer window.

Bevan, who was appointed Chief executive of the LMA in 2008, has been a long time advocate of reform of the transfer window, essentially to stop football club owners from "scapegoating" them

He thinks that the transfer window has now become the time when managers are being sacked , not for failure, but for not being as successful as the owners want.

The recent sackings of Roy Hodgson at Liverpool and Roy Keane at Ipswich are just two "big names" to have lost their jobs at the beginning of the January transfer window and press speculation still surrounds a plethora of other managers, including Avram Grant at West Ham and Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea.

Bevan stated, "I'm sure you'll find chairman who will say the transfer window was a final nail in the coffin of some decisions that they had to make in terms of sacking managers or coaches, but I think if you look at the wider picture, what you have to focus on is good governance, good communication, and creating that stable framework, that platform from which managers and coaches can flourish and not be strangled."

He continued, "We've 13 managers under 40 and we've got to help these guys understand the commerciality of the game and the position of clubs as well, help the communication, manage the expectations and then they will get longer in the job to try to survive. We encourage managers to get in writing from the club the targets and ambitions set for that season. Once you have that, you can manage around it and you can ensure people's ambitions are not getting too unrealistic."

Bevan went on to point out that fees paid for players bought in January are often hugely inflated over what they would be in the summer. So far this January Manchester City are thought to have paid £27m for Edin Dzeko, a player who cost just £4m three years ago and Liverpool paid £23m for Luis Suarez who was also sold three years ago for just £6.4m

"Certainly when you consider there are 663 clubs across the 52 leagues of Europe  50% of them are losing money," said Bevan "That's not a good business position and the transfer window needs to be removed."

Bevan knows he will have a fight on his hands to persuade FIFA president Sepp Blatter to have a rethink over the transfer window.

He opined, "FIFA are in a position where they've got one man making key decisions, and where you have an organisation that can have such an impact on the communities and business of sport, then that is not good governance at all - and it needs to change."