The football transfer window in recent years has ascended on the crest of a cash-infused wave, looming large over the sport.
It now stands so tall, that it is reaching the point of inevitability when all waves must crash, where the sheer weight cannot be supported. When this particular wave crashes, the ramifications will ripple throughout football.
We now stand at a point where singular transfers outweigh most clubs annual income. The select few continue to dip their reluctant toes in the market, but the top talents that would benefit any team are being purchased for fees that would crush the majority of top flight outfits.
Paris Saint Germain in the summer stepped into the market and made everyone notice. Their jewel-adorned cane pointed toward Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, and the crowd could only watch on as the French club made it rain. No other club could enter the fray once PSG came calling, and they made the Neymar transfer possible only because they could pay money that equals most countries deficits.
The shockwaves created by PSG are being felt in the Premier League too. Before the Paris club were backed by bottomless pockets, the current TV deal in place for the Premiership meant we were bullying the lion’s share of Europe by chucking money at players. Now, prices are jacked up further whenever PSG or Man City are interested.
Simply because the selling club know whatever the price, they will get the fee.
The point where things become untenable is soon approaching though. Transfer fees on average are on the rise, and when it hits a certain level, the rules are going to have to change.
There are options to stop this. Transfer limits on each club, wage caps. These are all processes that have been bandied around for years. Maybe we have already seen the future and not been aware?
Kia Joorabchian was one of the money men who organised the ludicrous transfer of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez to West Ham. Joorabchian owned the economic rights to both players, and perhaps something along this line may be the answer?
If players in the future had their interests represented in the form of shares, and interested parties purchased shares in the player so they could draft them in for the season? Perhaps loan deals up to a maximum of three years could solve the ongoing money problem?
Whatever the answer, the transfer window arrangement hasn’t helped. It induces panic in clubs and an itchy trigger finger is not the most valued asset when it comes to engineering transfers. The window is universally hated by all managers and for good reason.
Transfers need to change for the good of the game. The level of competitiveness is a healthy one in the Premiership right now, but if City and the big boys continue to spend and subsequently force other clubs to have to spend beyond their means, then that very competitiveness that makes the PL so special will soon wilt.
Virgil Van Dijk for £75m is just another sign that the massive wave is getting bigger. Plans need to be investigated so the future of our game can be guaranteed.