Belfast Telegraph

After late transfer window panic-buying, PFA chief Gordon Taylor calls for overhaul

Players' union boss Gordon Taylor has called for an overhaul to the summer transfer window and believes the current system leads to instability and problems throughout the game.

The Professional Footballers' Association chief executive thinks the transfer window, which closed at 11pm on Monday night after a frantic day of late deals, should end on the day the Barclays Premier League season starts.

Manchester United, Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool were among the clubs racing against time to complete deals on Monday, with Marouane Fellaini, Mesut Ozil, Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku among big-name players on the move.

Taylor also believes the way deals are done in the modern game can be a "double edged sword", with out-of-favour players marginalised by their clubs and others who are in demand refusing to honour their contracts.

"Having the window open after the season starts makes big headlines, news in the papers, talking points in the pubs, but it is creating problems and unsettling players," Taylor told Zapsportz.com.

"It is also unsettling for teams who have already started their season, and we can all see how this is affecting big clubs like Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester United.

"It needs to be addressed. As a union we fought long and hard for freedom of contract, so how ironic that the nature of the game has changed. Players are not necessarily moving at the end of their contracts when they are free to go.

"Yes, players are agitating for moves, but we all agree that contracts must be honoured by both the clubs and the players. However we live in the modern world and it is no secret that the very best players are continually being tapped up and encouraged to move on.

"On the other hand, players sign up to big deals and new managers come along and they want them out of their team and the club - but they cannot move on because they are on high wages. Some players are sidelined and made to train as outcasts on their own.

"It's become a double-edged sword, where no one is quite concerned about honouring contracts."

Taylor suggested the summer transfer window could close before the start of the Premier League season to provide much-needed transparency.

He added: "Everyone wants to move on for their own reasons, managers want fresh names in their teams. Because the window doesn't close when the new season starts, there are problems.

"Everyone can see the logic of the window closing when the season starts so that managers can get on with their jobs knowing that's that.

"It is all very odd as the purpose of the window was to restrict transfer activities, bring greater stability and allow managers to plan for a new season. It's a little bit strange that it has all morphed into something it was supposed to prevent.

"Managers and clubs are living in an odd state of flux with the season starting yet still sorting out their teams and their squads, with the usual last-minute panic."

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