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LMA calls for transfer window to be scrapped

Mon 31st Jan 2011 | Football Governance

Richard Bevan believes the January transfer window should be abolished and he has the support of the Premier League, Football League and the Football Association.

The League Managers’ Association (LMA) chief executive believes that the January transfer window is no longer fit for purpose; "It doesn't do what it was looking to when it came in," Bevan told BBC Midlands Late Kick Off.

"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."

Bevan 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."

Two transfer windows - from 1 to 31 January and 1 June to 31 August - run in England under Fifa rules.

Bevan believes the transfer window has become a tipping point in the season when under-fire managers are usually removed by chairman.

"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," Bevan added.

"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."

"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."

A former chief executive of the Professional Cricketers Association, Bevan also pointed out that clubs often pay a premium for players picked up in the winter transfer window.

This January, Manchester City have paid a reported £27m for Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko, a player who cost Wolfsburg £4m in 2007, while Liverpool spent £23m on striker Luis Suarez, who cost Ajax £6.4m three years ago.

"Certainly when you consider there are 663 clubs across the 52 leagues of Europe - 50% of them are losing money," Bevan commented.

"That's not a good business position and the transfer window needs to be removed."

But the LMA chief executive conceded that English football might have a tough job trying to persuade Fifa president Joseph Blatter to get rid of the window.

"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," Bevan stated.

(See Richard Bevan on BBC Midlands Late Kick Off on Monday 31 January at 2305 GMT.)

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