Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Thursday November 30 2006
Dundee United are hoping to make the most of the transfer window re-opening in January, to supplement the squad with several new signings.
However, manager Craig Levein has admitted he isn`t a fan of the current transfer system and thinks the transfer windows should be abolished completely, allowing clubs to sign players whenever they want.
In his weekly column for the Daily Record, Craig Levein blasted the current system and said the SPL should implement a similar one to that which is currently being used by the lower English leagues.
He said "Football managers are already casting their eyes towards the January sales, but we should all be spared the four week window of transfer activity."
"The transfer window system as a whole is a hindrance to managers, who are already under enough pressure to achieve the right results on the pitch."
He continued, "It`s exceptionally difficult for coaches on tight budgets to set money aside to spend later in the campaign. More often than not, the understandable temptation is for managers to commit the biggest chunk of their available funds on bringing in players to secure a good start to the season."
Obviously new signings aren`t the only thing on Craig Levein`s mind, since there has been some speculation that both Barry Robson and David Goodwillie could be the target of several clubs when the window re-opens.
However, Levein has suggested a way in which the system could be improved, by allowing clubs to make emergency loan signings at any time throughout the season.
Levein said, "If the transfer system isn`t overhauled completely, it would at least be a good idea to allow SPL clubs to make emergency cross-border loan signings outside of the window."
"A similar system is in place in the lower leagues in England and I used it during my time at Leicester City. Clubs are allowed to sign players for a set period of time outside the window, so long as those players don`t play for clubs in their own division."
It`s not a bad idea, since it would allow clubs to better cope with losing half their squad through injury and suspension towards the end of the season, but would this be fair on other players at the club?
It`s recently been reported that Dunfermline have 20 first team players currently out through injury, such a loan system would allow Stephen Kenny to bring in replacements for his injury prone squad.
However, would that mean that some of the younger players or frindge players would be kept out of the team?
Normally, injuries give the youngsters a chance to break into the 1st team and show what they are capable of, but if a manager could just bring in a loan signings, would this stop youth from coming through the ranks?
When Alan Combe got injured, it gave Paul Gallacher a chance to play in goal for United, but if United had the option of bringing in a replacement keeper - would Gallacher have ever got that chance to play for the Dundee United 1st team?
Probably, because he was a talented goalkeeper, but there is bound to be many players who would suffer.
Clubs like Hearts, Celtic & Rangers have the advantage of larger squads, which is the reason they tend to dominate near the end of the campaign whilst other teams are struggling to put a team out onto the park - would these teams vote in favour of neutralising such an advantage?
Superstitious Craig Levein went on to say, "There`s too much luck attached to the current system - both good and bad. There`s the rub of the green - more often than not, the players that managers want to buy are not available at this time of year."
Better get your lucky rabbit`s foot ready for January then.....
Date:Thursday November 30 2006
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