The Transfer Window : A Necessary Evil

The most expensive signing in history on transfer deadline day 2013. What a relief!
The most expensive signing in history on transfer deadline day 2013. What a relief!

 This article originally appeared on atwookigaucho.blogspot.se on the 5th of June 2013. With the January transfer window causing its usual madness, we thought we would reblogg it.

The only certainty that remains in the transfer window is that everything is uncertain until officially confirmed.

That is the basis upon which this obsession is founded. The transfer window exists, or rather now exists, to keep us pre-occupied while the football season goes into the lull of pre-season, or the pause of mid-season. Something has to give, and it has evolved from a meaningful idea into a means for our entertainment.

To think that prior to the 2002-2003 football season, the transfer window was not a compulsory requirement and transfers could take place at any moment of the season. What a bore. To be able to plug the gaps in a team’s squad at any point of the season, as if this was fantasy football and managers can pick whomever they want whenever they want – at a fee of course. Now, it’s all a bit sensible – purchase a player and hope he works out for the season. Sell another and hope it is not a significant loss.

Of course, the dynamics mean that the transfer window is not as easy as it should be. There are so many people potentially benefitting, or losing out from negotiations and deals – so many interested parties that it ceases to be easy. There is that manager, willing to reinforce his squad – that Chief Executive hoping he has convinced the Board that the funds released will be used appropriately – that Agent wanting to make money from another deal – that player looking for greener pastures – that journalist hoping for a career changing scoop.

And so on, and so on. We haven’t even touched on the brand of fans, who are looking for solace in a meaningless time. No trophy on offer – none meaningful anyway – and so a competitive sport continues with its competitive nature. Here is the chance to prize away that season defining player – that match winner – that South American showstopper – Africa’s next big thing – a pearl from Asia – or even, that player who is coveted by all. Nail him, and some form of victory is felt.

This has in turn created a monster. Indeed, the transfer window is in its very nature much in between things – the summer transfer window comes in between the year, while the January one comes in between the season. It is for this reason that there is no black and white, neither yes nor no. In the transfer window, nothing is certain. Everything is uncertain and in between, an endless world of possibilities and probabilities.

Classic completed transfer pose!
Classic completed transfer pose!

Lucas Moura can be 99% heading to Manchester United, but that is until PSG maximise on that solitary remaining percentage. Robin Van Persie neglects Juventus for the sheer amount of match-fixing in Italy, and neglects the sheer amount of money from Manchester City, instead going to boyhood club United.

Eden Hazard can be given a personal tour around Old Trafford by Sir Alex Ferguson himself, but then decide he prefers the newly crowned European champions Chelsea instead. Anything can happen: anything usually does.

Like Nuno Gomes, former Portugal international, at Championship club Blackburn Rovers. Julien Faubert, oddly leaving West Ham for Real Madrid. That, if you did not get it, was West ham to Real Madrid! Then there is Rivaldo. How on earth did he find himself in Angola. Or is it Mozambique. I do not know which it is, and I still do not know how he got there. Just the same way Luis Boa Morte, once an Arsene Wenger signing, found himself in South Africa. If it all looks silly, then it probably is. Why should it not in silly season?

Yet, to wait for a clear indication of what happens next is like hoping to capture the sun’s rays. Because money changes hands between men and other men, and sometimes, even more men. And eventually, what seems clear on the surface is unclear underneath.

That troubles many. Nobody knows how it works, and the few who do can never predict it. Today, it is the player who holds the future in his hands, tomorrow, the money talks. In some instances, the players themselves do not even know. Jermain Defoe once told a reporter that one day, he had finished training and one of his teammates got a phone call. “Congratulations, you are going to club XYZ!” The player did not even know it.

The transfer window has the capacity of turning blue into red.
The transfer window has the capacity of turning blue into red.

So, if you are lingering around waiting for news of this transfer or that, you would be better suited not bothering. Smoke will come, the fire is there – that does not mean it will blaze. Rumours will begin and fade away. Transfers will be done deals, then not. Some will have no chance of happening, before being announced 20 minutes later. All we can do is hope and wait – for the official confirmation.

But then, what’s the fun in that? Would it not be better to tarry with some knowledge, even if it is wrong information – bubbling around our heads. What to do while in this period of decay – no football, no fun. Sitting around is not an option. Discussing potential transfers- — merits and demerits of done deals, now that’s something.

Beware when ye fight monsters, Friedrich Nietzsche warned us, lest you become one of them. This meaningful obsession with the transfer window — don’t bother fighting it. It keeps us warm and cool, fills our mouths whenever we get that insatiable need to banter. It is an obsession that teases us, leaving us wanting more. Getting it wrong, and defending our wrongness. Cursing at the journalist who convinced us otherwise, or at the board that did not provide the funds, or at the manager who did not pursue incessantly. The transfer window is silly. Aren’t we all?

[ images courtesy of zimbio.com]
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