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Seeing Through The Transfer Windows
Trusted View
Tuesday, February 01 2011

Has anyone recently surveyed supporters' views on transfer windows and the "emergency loan" facilities that shape the football seasons?

Football has recently contrived these “squad management methods”, although it's debatable whether they really enhance the “matchday experience” of paying supporters.

Do loans mainly benefit the richer clubs with bigger squads, having fringe players to exercise and potentially offload? Do receiving clubs using loanees neglect the long-term objective of effective team building?

These days, most clubs (including ours) have tightly controlled finances, although gate receipts and corporate income are both said to be extremely healthy at Derby.

Perhaps clubs with the strongest squads do benefit more from loans; the system can also re-boot players' careers, as we've seen with the two Lukes, Varney and Moore, although it's difficult at present to see the long-term benefit for Derby here.

It's not exactly clear what constitutes an “emergency loan”. Does a club qualify by suffering a certain level of injuries in their squad positions, or by employing a bare minimum permanent squad size between transfer windows?

Transfer windows restrict clubs' flexibility to trade players; they can also induce panic buying by strugglers, or panic selling from financially compromised outfits.

The borrowers seek instant value from loan players but that compromises long-term team stability. Fans still pay regularly to watch itinerant players who may not have reciprocal commitment to their club.

Perhaps club loyalty and a replica shirt bearing the star player's name are now also out on loan?

(This article was published in the Ipswich Town edition of The RAM, 01.02.2011).

 
 
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