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Thursday, 24 January, 2002, 17:18 GMT
No window of opportunity
Gerhard Aigner (right) and Lennart Johansson discuss Uefa's plans
Aigner (right) and Uefa president Lennart Johansson
BBC Sport's Nigel Adderley says English football's resistance to transfer windows cuts little ice with Uefa

English football's Euro-sceptic attitude towards transfer windows found little favour with Uefa.

At its Executive Committee meeting in Porto, European football's governing body indicated its desire to have the system up-and-running by the end of this season.

Uefa has recommended to its 51 members that transfers should only be allowed during the close season and throughout January.


I don't think it makes sense for clubs to depend on the transfer of a single player to survive the season
Uefa's Gerhard Aigner

It is a system which leagues such as Italy's Serie A have been using for years.

But while the Football Association and Football League have little choice in the international market, both are vehemently opposed to adopting it domestically.

It is claimed small clubs who often have to sell at short notice to survive could go to the wall if they had to wait months to transfer their star players.

But Uefa chief executive Gerhard Aigner told BBC Sport Online it is a scenario he has little sympathy for.

He said: "I don't think it makes sense for clubs to depend on the transfer of a single player to survive the season.


If everybody adopts the regulations we will have more stability within the whole of the European football structure
Gerhard Aigner

"We are moving towards a licensing system where we can ensure clubs are financially solid enough to compete.

"Transfer windows are an invitation for clubs to operate their finances more prudently."

The likelihood is that English football will have a mixed system.

For example, Robbie Fowler's transfer from Liverpool to Leeds could happen at any time.

But Nicolas Anelka's loan move from Paris St.Germain to replace him would have to fall within the transfer windows.

Aigner believes it's a situation which doesn't have a long-term future.

"The regulations must make sense in the end and we hope all the leagues recognise that.

"If everybody adopts them we will have more stability within the whole of the European football structure".

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