The Transfer Window – Can We Stop This Circus?

Another transfer-window and while Jim White and his band of over excited reporters cry with delight as the transfer total for the English Premier League clubs since June rises beyond the £1.3 BILLION mark, Scottish clubs are battling to secure loan-deals, free transfers and to retain their prized assets in the face of derisory offers from their English counterparts.

 There’s little point in me spending a great deal of time moaning about the spending levels in modern football – it’s a debate that has been done to death. Although it also can be very difficult at times like this when it is constantly shoved down our throat – we’ve even got a page on the BBC Sport website where if you enter your yearly income it’ll tell you how many centuries it will take you to earn his yearly salary. Those reporting on these absurd transfers aren’t only embracing the staggering money involved they are promoting it and making light of it.

It feels like there’s little hiding place from this nonsense, deadline-day is a Sky Sports led PR machine that has expanded on a yearly basis. Deadline-day has now reached the point where club’s down south appear to be in on the act, waiting to the final day to finalise deals and create that extra ‘excitement’, however while the eye-watering levels of spending continues in England and across the rest of European football’s ‘elite leagues’, spare a thought for the rest of us left behind by the this stunt.

The Knock-On Effect

 Let me get this back on track finally…

While the astronomical levels of spending down south are generally exclusive to the top two leagues, the increased revenue of the lower league sides is proving to be a thorn in the side of a number of Scottish clubs.

For Motherwell fans transfer deadline-day is rarely a day worth crowding outside Fir Park for, sorry I’ll rephrase that, it has never been a day for doing that, although recent years have seen us buck the trend somewhat a move some deals both in and out over the line on the final day. This summer an interest in a number of our top assets has caused some concern with the club being challenged to show resolve in the face of a number of derisory offers for players of huge importance to the team.

This is not particularly unfamiliar territory for Motherwell or indeed the majority of Scottish clubs who often are required to sell a player to a so-called ‘bigger club’ in order to keep functioning as they should. Indeed it’s not been a secret that Motherwell sell ‘a vision’ to players that if they perform well in their time at the club then they will reap the rewards with a move to the promised land of English football. However the landscape is changing their too, what was once a move to a ‘bigger team’ now seems to be pretty much a sideways move in terms of average crowds and honours, but a staggering leap in income.

There has been an element of positive news from the bonkers deals in England, when one of our former players, Marvin Johnson departed his current side Oxford for Middlesbrough in a deal that will net ‘Well around £750,000 in sell-on fees, but again the knock-on effect kicks in.

Oxford have now netted around £9million in transfer-fees in the last year and while a player making the step-up from League One to the Championship in England commands a substantial transfer fee, the teams in League One clearly don’t share the same view of Scottish players moving to ply their trade in the English lower divisions. This is clearly represented in derisory offers for players such as Chris Cadden and Louis Moult who both have already been targeted by the League One outfit, but with offers well below their value.

There’s a degree of arrogance to this, in my view this is an attitude to being surrounded by the big money of the EPL and the Championship. Washed-up former manager David Pleat produced a staggering interview on radio earlier this year where he suggested along the lines of there were ‘some good players in Scottish football, if you looked hard enough’, this in relation to Jackson Irvine, a player who left Ross County for Burton Albion, only to move for big money to Hull City a year later. Look down your nose all you like at our game, but while you can suggest that the lack of infrastructure and facilities or bad diet and drink culture or ruining our game, why not consider we also have the proximity to the big money and sheer arrogance of English football?

While I need to concede that a Motherwell or Kilmarnock can’t compete with an Oxford or Burton Albion financially, I do struggle to accept they have a substantially more spending power due to deadline-day, Sky Sports and this seemingly never ending circus.

Jim White might be wetting himself with excitement, Leicester and West Brom may be signing a new left-back from Italy that nobody has ever heard of out of sheer panic, if this is your version of football and excitement, I want out.