Gordon Smith: Transfer window is not working for anyone any more

Ross Barkley (PA)

I’VE always been someone looking for new ideas and different ways to help improve the game of football.

But it’s also vital to admit that not every innovation is an unqualified success.

Now and then, the changes simply don’t work and it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

That’s how I see the Transfer Window system.

It has now been in operation for 15 years and I’ve never agreed with it.

There have been grumbles about the way it works from the start – but there are now major cracks developing in the system.

The English Premier League took action last week and decided to close next summer’s transfer window before the 2018-19 season starts.

Clubs have been increasingly concerned that players moving during the first two weeks of competitive action is disrupting their plans.

The speculation goes on even longer in Scotland because we start the season earlier.

I know the possibility of English clubs selling players to other countries before the end of August remains, but I feel they’ve taken a step in the right direction.

The current situation is one of chaos and confusion because you have different countries with different dates for their window to shut.

It’s not often I suggest going back in time, but I feel we have to admit that the old system was better.

In years gone by, we had interest throughout the season as players moved between clubs.

At the moment, we only hear about the big deals and the tens of millions being spent in England.

They’ve tried to make an event of transfer deadline day, but that really isn’t happening any more.

This year, the main talking points were moves that didn’t happen.

We had Everton’s Ross Barkley apparently changing his mind about a move to Chelsea at the last minute, and Leicester missing the deadline to register Adrien Silva by 14 seconds.

I would also curtail the loan system because I feel it’s getting out of hand.

Allowing clubs to buy players throughout the season would help with that.

There’s a growing disquiet about the inflated fees clubs are paying, and the transfer window only succeeds in bumping up the amount of money involved.

Chairmen panic as the end of the window draws closer and offer a few million more to get their man.

Even when I was working as an agent, I was convinced this wasn’t the way business should take place.

The current system also means players are stuck at a club, unless there’s interest from another team during one of the two windows.

I know a lot of people feel players have too much power nowadays, but it’s wrong to stop them plying their trade.

There’s no problem with having a deadline day to stop moves a few weeks before the end of the season.

That stops clubs buying their way out of trouble.We had that in place for many years.

I moved from Brighton to Manchester City right on the deadline in 1984.

The English clubs have done something positive about the situation, but I don’t feel it goes far enough.

New initiatives are all well and good, but you have to keep reviewing them to make sure they work.

There should be a worldwide summit to assess the way the transfer window system is, or rather isn’t, working.

I’m sure clubs would make it clear to FIFA that it’s time for a change.

I can’t accept that only clubs in England are unhappy with this mess.

It’s clear there is widespread dissatisfaction and change is required.