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Time to 'scrap' January transfer window - LMA

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Bevan criticises transfer window

English football wants to do away with the January transfer window, according to the League Managers' Association.

The Premier League, Football League, Football Association and the Professional Footballers' Association are all said to support the LMA's view.

Liverpool, Manchester City and Aston Villa have spent heavily ahead of the window closing at 2300 GMT on Monday.

"It doesn't do what it was looking to when it came in," LMA chief Richard Bevan told BBC Midlands Late Kick Off.

"It doesn't create stability, it doesn't create a level playing field, and certainly in the Football League they are very keen the domestic window is removed."

I'm sure you'll find chairman who will say the transfer window was a final nail in the coffin of some decisions that they had to make in terms of sacking managers or coaches
Richard Bevan

Bevan added: "Key stakeholders in the game - the Premier League, Football Association, Football League, the FA the LMA and the PFA - would like to see it scrapped."

Two transfer windows - from 1 to 31 January and 1 June to 31 August - run in England under Fifa rules.

Appointed LMA chief executive in 2008, Bevan has consistently campaigned for English football to adopt a longer-term strategy in the way bosses are treated and recently called on super-rich club owners to stop "scapegoating" them.

Bevan believes the transfer window has become a tipping point in the season during when under-fire managers are usually removed by chairman.

Roy Hodgson at Liverpool and Roy Keane at Ipswich are two of the more high-profile managers to have lost their jobs this month, while speculation has surrounded the futures of Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and his West Ham counterpart Avram Grant.

"I'm sure you'll find chairman who will say the transfer window was a final nail in the coffin of some decisions that they had to make in terms of sacking managers or coaches," Bevan continued.

"But I think if you look at the wider picture, what you have to focus on is good governance, good communication, and creating that stable framework, that platform from which managers and coaches can flourish and not be strangled."

606: DEBATE

Bevan added: "We've 13 managers under 40 and we've got to help these guys understand the commerciality of the game and the position of clubs as well, help the communication, manage the expectations and then they will get longer in the job to try to survive.

"We encourage managers to get in writing from the club the targets and ambitions set for that season. Once you have that, you can manage around it and you can ensure people's ambitions are not getting too unrealistic."

A former chief executive of the Professional Cricketers Association, Bevan also pointed out that clubs often pay a premium for players picked up in the winter transfer window.

This January, Manchester City have paid a reported £27m for Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko, a player who cost Wolfsburg £4m in 2007, while Liverpool spent £23m on striker Luis Suarez, who cost Ajax £6.4m three years ago.

"Certainly when you consider there are 663 clubs across the 52 leagues of Europe - 50% of them are losing money," Bevan commented.

"That's not a good business position and the transfer window needs to be removed."

But the LMA chief executive conceded that English football might have a tough job trying to persuade Fifa president Joseph Blatter to get rid of the window.

"Fifa are in a position where they've got one man making key decisions, and where you have an organisation that can have such an impact on the communities and business of sport, then that is not good governance at all - and it needs to change," Bevan stated.


Hear Natalie Jackson's interview with Richard Bevan on BBC Midlands Late Kick Off on Monday 31 January at 2305 GMT.



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see also
Stop scapegoating managers - LMA
06 Jan 11 |  Football
Transfers - January 2011
31 Jan 11 |  Football
Portsmouth transfer plea rejected
20 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Football League plans big changes
20 May 09 |  Football
Villa confirm record Bent signing
18 Jan 11 |  Aston Villa
Chelsea pay record fee for Torres
31 Jan 11 |  Chelsea
Liverpool sign Suarez for 22.7m
31 Jan 11 |  Liverpool


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