JOHANNESBURG - While the world continues to debate whether the transfer window should be shut prior to the start of the football season, three PSL coaches gave conflicting views when asked for their thoughts on a period aptly described as ‘silly season’.
No Football Association in the globe has, to date, asked - successfully at least - the sports’ governing body Fifa to reconsider its perimeters on the transfer window closing date of August 31, which comes into effect a good few weeks after clubs have played a number of matches. But several coaches have in the past publicly said it’s disruptive, while others remain unconcerned.
“I think there is enough time to get players in and maybe if we pushed for the transfer window to close earlier clubs will move a lot quicker,” said Gavin Hunt, coach of defending Absa Premiership champions Bidvest Wits.
“If you have a player you are not sure about or they are not sure about their future at your club, it’s the kind of uncertainty you don’t want. I know all too well that feeling. We sold Teko Modise on the last day when I was still with SuperSport United and he had been with me throughout pre-season.
"Fifa make the rules, but if enough associations can push for it, then it will be a good thing because, for me, I would love to know my team before we play our first game and not have to do a deal on August 31.”
Hunt will have a hard time convincing his counterparts to sing from the same hymn sheet, however. Steve Komphela, the Kaizer Chiefs coach, argued that closing the transfer window early would force clubs into making hasty decisions about new recruits.
“I think the more time you get, it allows you the opportunity to sift through and make proper decisions. There is nothing as bad as when you are pressed for a decision because you end up making some poor choices,” Komphela, advocating to maintain the status quo, explained.
“That (changing the transfer deadline date) would mean you need to start thinking now about what you want for next season. The logic is that when you have time, you think a little bit better.
"I know others will say it is affecting their business and the players won’t concentrate, but they have to make sure that everyone is settled in their camp. For us, we are happy to have it opened until the last day so that anything can happen.”
Eric Tinkler was not on either side of the extreme views, expressed by his colleagues Hunt and Komphela, the recently appointed SuperSport United coach saying he would adapt to any scenario.
“Most clubs would love to wrap things up early, of course. But sometimes you find out about players that are out of contract or being released in mid-June, then it is about the negotiations, which obviously then takes a bit long,” Tinkler said.
“On the other hand, if you want things to be done early it means scouting players a lot earlier and negotiating a lot earlier. In an ideal world most coaches want to start pre-season knowing what their squad is going to be. I understand the processes, but I am indifferent really.”