On two days every year football fans up and down the country get lost in the chaos of transfer deadline day. The rumour mill goes into overdrive and otherwise financially prudent clubs can lose all perspective in last minute bids to buy players they may otherwise not have been interested in.
The present transfer window system was introduced in the 2002/03 season as part of a compromise with the European Commission about preserving contract stability for both player and club whilst at the same time allowing the free movement of players at prescribed times of the year. It also prevented teams competing for the title from buying top talent from other teams who were not to shore up their title bids and the uncertainty created by interest in a player from a top club in the middle of a season, both familiar complaints at the time.
It is argued that the transfer window allows managers to plan for a set period knowing which players are at their disposal and gives the opportunity for younger players to come through the system as a result of injuries or loss of form to those better known.
In the transfer window just closed Premier League spending totalled £1.165bn shattering the previous year’s record spending of £870m. Spending of £155m on deadline day was also an increase of over 10% in the previous record day’s spending of £140m on 31 August 2013. The highest transfer fee was a world record £89m paid out by Manchester United for Paul Pogba; a player the same club had sold four years earlier for £1.5m. To put this all in perspective when the transfer window was first introduced Premier League spending was a paltry £215m.
The reason for the increase in spending this year? Simple. A new £5.136bn television rights deal signed by the Premier League which has filtered into the coffers of all clubs. This new deal also significantly favours those clubs relegated from the Premier League last season who received parachute payments of £64m. The outlay of Newcastle and Aston Villa alone topped £110m helping Championship clubs spend a record combined £215m although many will bemoan the financial disparity between those recently relegated and the remaining clubs.
However you feel about the transfer window it is here to stay and fans can get their next dose of excitement at the end of January 2017.