Why do football clubs drag their feet in the transfer window?

The football season is over and there is now little for managers to do. So they might as well go on holiday for six weeks or so until pre-season training begins. It’s simply impossible to sign any players at the moment because everyone is on holiday and even if you could then why would you want to? I mean pay wages for weeks on end with no football. At least these are usually the sort of lines that come from football managers who don’t like to get on with the job – but in reality players can be signed in June and why would you not want to?

Okay so you may have to pay wages for a few weeks when there is no football going on – but you do that for all your current players don’t you? As for the suggestion that everyone is on holiday, yes some people are away but people can still talk through phones, Skype, Email, Twitter, Facebook, MSN…deals can still be done!

It is surely in the best interests of the club to get business done early and have the squad complete in time for the first pre-season match. The advantage of this is clear for all to see and allows a club to fully prepare for the new season. If the management can have his squad in place for the start of pre-season then his focus can be fully focussed on preparing for these games and not having to still do business to strengthen the squad. Furthermore, if the manager has to do business then he may need to leave some of the pre-season games in the hands of the assistant as he tries to get deals done, hardly ideal preparation for a new season.

Then there is the issue of not getting the most from pre-season. Part of the point is to get new players in and settled in the area – which can be vitally important for foreign players experiencing culture shock. Then these players can get some much needed game time where they can get match fit, get to know their teammates and generally prepare for the season ahead. However, despite those obvious benefits and conclude that the transfer window is open all summer long and doesn’t close until the end of August – so why sign players before you have to?

Well there are a couple of added reasons on top of what has been mentioned above and that is getting value for money and to try and avoid panic buying. If a club starts negotiating for a player early on then there will be plenty of time to conclude the deal, ensuring that the best deal can be reached. However, when buying players in a rush then typically some level of panic buying goes on – but even if a club gets a number one target the chances are they will be paying over the odds for him. A bit like the January transfer window when business can be done – but at hugely inflated prices; this was showcased by the fact that Liverpool had to spend £35m on Andy Carroll.

The importance of buying players early may mean in some cases that club owners will make signings without the influence of the manager in order to get the best financial package for the club. In a similar way the owners may buy a player when the club is between managers in order to be better prepared for the new season.

Despite all the evidence to back up the fact that it’s best to get transfer business done early, a surprising number of managers still look to take a back seat until near the start of the season. Clubs that show themselves to be a bit more proactive and get business done early are likely to reap the rewards once the season gets under way. There is a lot to be said for having a settled squad raring to go. As for those managers that prefer to wait, well that is their right – but just keep in mind that by the time they get around to it – they may find the best players have already transferred, and any players that are available they may have to pay over the odds for.

So what would you like your club to do? Get players in early or wait until a week or two before the season starts? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and join in the conversation.