COLUMN: Time for the January transfer window to be closed for good?

Harry Redknapp.
Harry Redknapp.

With the new year came the opening of the January transfer window - and all the usual calls to abort the process.

The much-maligned system was introduced to British football back in 2002 and has been a mainstay in our game ever since.

But that doesn’t mean it has been a happy 14 years or so.

The flurry of signings during a calendar month is seen by many as football’s version of panic buying - albeit on a grander scale.

There are plenty of managers who despise the month of January.

This is either because they spend the whole month constantly batting away speculation about the growing interest in their star player or feel pressurised into bringing in players purely for the sake of ‘doing business.’

Harry Redknapp, when manager at Queen’s Park Rangers, probably best described the annual window when he said: “Every agent is out to screw the other agent.

“It’s a bit like the ice-cream wars in Glasgow.

“They’re all at each others’ throats.

“It’s as if someone is going to shoot them. It’s crazy.”

It’s hard to disagree although maybe clubs are finally settling down from the mass hysteria purchases that you expect in the summer window.

Last year’s January window was arguably the quietest since its inception.

The only notable deals saw Juan Cuadrado join Chelsea (before departing just months later) and Wilfired Bony swap Swansea for Manchester City.

Other than that it was mostly small-fee deals and loan transfers.

It is likely to be the case again this year with more Premier League clubs under less strain to sell their prized assets.

This is in no small part due to the record TV deal that gives every top flight club not only more cash but also more chances of keeping their star assets.

Case in point is Leicester, who look set to fend off admiring glances for Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez - two players who have been key to the Foxes’ sensational league campaign.

One thing’s for sure; the window is probably here to stay.

But the argument over whether it remains viable will inevitably rear its head every new year too.