Today Is Irrelevant

August 9, 2018

Instead of going for clickbait and rumours today, which just winds people up, we’ve gone for a reality check guide to the transfer window and why, in many ways, today’s window is actually irrelevant…

 

So, today’s the day. The closing of the transfer window. The only problem is we shouldn’t care. It’s pretty much irrelevant to us.

 

You see, for us, today isn’t a real window. It’s like one of those mirrors in spy films where it’s only a window in one direction. It matters in the Premier League and Championship because of the way those clubs do business (or don’t if you’re Mike Ashley) but in League One there are a few reasons we should all just get on with our day, ignore the exclusives and, if we’re lucky, enjoy the scarf pictures when they happen.

 

1) For every major league in Europe, the window still closes on 31st August.

No one who has ever seen Papy D or N’Dong play are likely to want to buy them, so the fact no one in England can buy them after today is irrelevant. Places that don’t get Match of the Day, like Turkey, can still buy them over the next three weeks. Today is irrelevant.

 

2) Loan window also closes on 31st August

If we want to loan a player to anyone (including another English club) we have another three weeks. There are currently strong rumours linking Catts to a club in the Championship but, on the basis, they’re not going to buy him, today is irrelevant. By the way, personally, I think he’d do well in Scotland (if he could sort his salary out) but, see above, we can sell him to Scotland until the end of the month and that’s about his level these days.

 

3) But we want to buy people

Yes, we do, three by my reckoning. But remember, we sold Borini in a two-part deal. We hope we’re selling Kone in a two-part deal. If we take a player on loan, there are three possible endings (I’m ignoring option four where we go to court and then just pay him forever more). Option one - we sign a player on loan who will immediately go back to his club after the loan finishes. Option two – we sign a player with an option to sign in the future (like Kone). Option three – we sign a player on loan with an agreement to buy at the end of the loan term (like Borini). All three of these options can be completed between now and the end of August. Let’s say we don’t sign an exciting winger from a League Two club today (naming no names). No problem, we can take them on loan tomorrow with an agreement to buy them in January. So, we have, effectively bought them. Today is irrelevant.

 

4) What if no one else wants them

In the Premier league, signing unattached players is relatively rare. In Leagues One and Two it happens all the time. The transfer deadline only relates to deals between two clubs. If the player doesn’t have a club, you’ve guessed it, it’s irrelevant. Whether it’s a Polish trialist or an aging international looking for one last bash at League One, the club has access to that market for the rest of the month (and beyond).

 

There are two things about the club that make this important as I write.

First of all, Stewart and Charlie love to haggle and to get a good deal. The key to a successful haggle is being prepared to walk away and they’ve shown time and time again that they’re prepared to do just that. The agents’ trump card is always ‘it’s nearly midnight, you’ve got to decide’ but that simply won’t work with us this year. We’re in no rush to sign or sell players. Yes, we’d like to see some leave and some come in but there’s no need for that to be today so don’t waste time worrying about it.

 

The second reason is injuries – we currently have a number of injured players who will be much easier to assess accurately in a couple of weeks. If, for example, we know that in a month we’ll have Wyke, Sinclair, Maja, Watmore and McGeady all fit, the need to buy an attacking player eases considerably. If in two weeks we see that none of them are fit, we’re not too late to act before the end of the month.

 

So, as I might have mentioned, today is irrelevant. But what should we do instead? Well, other clubs will be worth watching today. I can think of one in particular where, unless players are signed today, top players, internationals, ones you’ve heard of, for big money, then the manager might leave and, according to twitter, all their fans are going to leave if he leaves. For the avoidance of doubt, there’s no window for loyalty, they can leave any time they want.

 

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At the back end of the 1980s, football fanzines began to sweep the country and in 1989 we were presented with a new vehicle on which to enjoy some of this ride – A Love Supreme. ALS was a place we could all go to celebrate and commiserate being a Sunderland fan. Win, lose or draw, the pages of the fanzine became solace for many of us as we stumbled our way through our day to day lives, punctuated by the ups and downs of more match days than any of us care to remember.

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