Kamara: Shut the window
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Chris Kamara calls for an end to transfer windows in the Football League.
Chris Kamara and Rob McCaffrey are joined by Ray Wilkins on Goals on Sunday this Sunday at 11am on Sky Sports 1.
It is nonsense that the Football League has a transfer window. It is fine for the Premiership big boys, they have the money from television to deal for one month, twice a year, but it doesn't work in the Football League.
And the sooner Sepp Blatter or whoever came up with the idea that transfer windows should extend into lower leagues realises this, the better it will be for the clubs.
The bottom line is that Football League clubs need to be able to trade all year to be able to survive. One week after the window shuts, the clubs are allowed to go about loaning players again, but not being able to sell when they need to hurts them.
Derby County, for example, at one stage had something like nine players on loan this season. Derby sold Grzegorz Rasiak on the last day of the August transfer window, giving Phil Brown no time to sign a replacement. It is not his fault that the club accepted an offer for his player.
He is forced then to deal in loan players alone, and at the time of the next transfer window, he has lost his job.
Some clubs of course are exploiting the loan signings, and are sticking two fingers up to the transfer window. Nathan Tyson joined Nottingham Forest 'on loan' from Wycombe in October, but everyone knew it was a transfer deal. Lo and behold, when the transfer window opened in January, he completed his transfer. The whole situation needs to be looked at seriously.
But while there is a transfer window there will always be some frantic business done during the 31 days of August and January. The proof will be in the end-of-season pudding as to whether clubs like Crystal Palace, who did no business, or those that made signings, have done some good business.
One of the most eye-catching transactions was that sale of DJ Campbell from Brentford to Birmingham. The one thing Birmingham didn't have was pace. With Chris Sutton, Emily Heskey, David Dunn and Mikael Forssell there is plenty of talent, but no whippet; someone you can knock it over the top to and can get there quicker than most.
Signing Campbell was no gamble for Birmingham. If the fee rises to £1m, it will look like money well spent. Even if he doesn't succeed, £500,000 is nothing to a side, who at the time of writing, are a Premiership club.
For Brentford though he is a massive loss. I understand what Martin Allen is saying when he sold him. He always said that the opportunity would come along for DJ and he had a decision to make as to whether he stood in his way or let him go, perhaps at the end of the season.
We all know a lot can happen with injuries and form in six months, and from a kid who was earning £300 a week, to £600 per week with Brentford, Campbell hit the jackpot with this opportunity and Allen, who has a good relationship with the player, let his man go.
Norwich spending £3.5 million of the £7 million received from West Ham for Dean Ashton on Robert Earnshaw of West Brom is another interesting signing and we will have to wait and see if it is a good one.
If they get to play-offs then it is great business by Nigel Worthington, but if they fail to make it, the fans might question spending half of the Ashton money on one player.
At end of day, how many Championship sides can spend that much on only one player? They would normally use it more astutely and wisely. Look at Reading, Leeds or Sheffield United to see how many players you can buy with £3.5 million or less.
But I do think he will be fabulous at Norwich. Bryan Robson says he just a goal-scorer, but that is no bad habit. Maybe he is not a team player, but if you play in a side that creates chances, he will score tons. But at West Brom, who create little, you can't carry someone who is not contributing elsewhere.
Again only time will tell which was the best piece of business in this transfer window but Ade Akinbiyi has already shown in one game what he can do for Sheffield United.
If he doesn't make another contribution this season, that one victory from his goal midweek has already widened the gap between second and Watford and Leeds.
For perhaps the first time Neil Warnock has done the right thing. Instead of begging, borrowing and stealing players he has gone to the board and said I can virtually guarantee us promotion with help - £1.5m - are you with me or not? We can wait and see whether we are good enough to go straight up or we guarantee it with one good signing. It was a fabulous signing and I think he will contribute for the rest of the season.
Chris answers your email...
Chris, It's come to my attention (from a good friend of Arthur Cox) that Kevin Keegan may be interested in the Derby County job. What do you think? Raf Uzar.
KAMMY SAYS: I don't think Keegan would go to County. Not at all unless someone takes over with £50m, like the Fulham situation. To work with no money and what they have got, I'd say there is no chance.
Hi Chris, I'm a season ticket holder at Norwich and have read your column and seen you write positive thinks about City. However, after you witnessed the abysmal performance at Reading first hand for Sky, can you still say that Nigel Worthington is doing a good job? Darren, Norwich.
KAMMY SAYS: For 30 minutes the performance from Reading was the best I have seen from a Championship side ever. Being 2-0 down after half an hour, I didn't put anything down to Norwich, but down to the quality, passing and movement of Reading. But in the 15 minutes before half-time I take your point. Norwich didn't get into Reading as you would have wanted them to, but it could just have been that they were demoralised and were hoping for half-time to come - I have been there and it can be hard to get back into a game. They did show a response in the second-half but then conceded two goals and it was over. Write that one off Darren, Reading were at their best.
Stick with Worthington, the play-offs are there for the taking. He has just spent £3.5m so there is no point removing him now. Norwich is a faithful club, Delia and the board want stability. A problem for relegated clubs is that the fans enjoy their Premiership season but then don't like it when they are struggling in a league below. But look at Sunderland, they are not even enjoying their year in the top flight, at least Norwich took it to the last day of the season rather than February. This scenario of teams dropping down and struggling will happen again many times. You still have an outside chance of the play-offs and if you do not get there, give him the first dozen games of next season to see if his new side gels
Hi Chris, Following some of the protests against chairmen recently I have an upbeat message. I am a lowly Reading fan and things are looking pretty rosy for this relatively small Berkshire club. Although I miss Elm Park dearly still, it was very old and was never going to sustain us for very long, so with foresight and vision John Madejski paid off our debts, and gave us a solid business base and moved us to a new stadium. As much as I'll be thanking Steve Coppell and the whole team, it will be John Madejski who I feel should get special recognition if/when we get promoted. Do you think chairmen should get more recognition in the press and on the terraces? Far too many people are looking to blame, too few to actually praise. It makes me wonder why they bother at all. Dave O Rowlands, Reading.
KAMMY SAYS: Some chairmen do take stick when they sack managers but good chairmen do get recognition. Many are getting it right at a lot of clubs and I think John Madejski will, and is, getting credit for moving to the stadium. He will take the plaudits along with Steve Coppell and the team when Reading are promoted. Let's be honest it is a team thing. Madejski has given Reading a stadium to be proud of and he had been astute in his manager choices, Alan Pardew and Steve Coppell. But let us not take any credit away from the managers. There are clubs like Leeds, Norwich and Sheffield United who have spent ten times as much as Coppell but not achieved as much this year. It is a joint effort and Coppell will appreciate his chairman and vice versa.