Scrap January window, says Hammers captain

WEST HAM captain Kevin Nolan has called for the January transfer window to be scrapped, insisting no one in football is in favour of it any more.

His comments come after Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp complained of “gang warfare” among agents trying to muscle in on each other’s transactions as last week’s deadline approached.

Hammers co-owner David Sullivan echoed Redknapp’s remarks, alleging that one agent threatened him with physical violence, while Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has also called for radical reform of the window.

Nolan admitted West Ham boss Sam Allardyce had not enjoyed a month of uncertainty over who would be joining or departing his squad as the club prepared for the end of season run-in.

“I think it’s starting to get to everyone, this transfer window that’s just gone. I don’t think anybody likes it any more,” said Nolan, who tried his hand at trading on a visit to the City this week as West Ham announced a new shirt sponsorship with forex broker Alpari.

“Harry Redknapp was genius when he said about it being like gang warfare. I think everyone does feel that way about it now. All the managers and owners do really feel that way about it.”

The Premier League has operated a January transfer window, in line with other European leagues, since 2003, and Nolan believes the novelty of winter trading has worn off.

“It’s lost the little sparkle it had when it first started,” he added. “I must admit I have Sky Sports News on every day but I didn’t this month, even when it came to the final hours and the final countdown, it just didn’t grab me this time. In July I was all over it, looking forward to getting back to football, seeing who’s moving and all that – it was great then. But in my opinion it’s lost its sparkle.”

Michel Platini, president of European governing body Uefa, last week hinted that growing opposition to the January window may force him to consider scrapping it altogether.

“I think a lot of coaches are unhappy about it because they don’t know if they are going to end the competition with the same team they started with,” said Platini.

“I think it’s unacceptable when, in one part of the competition, a player plays for team A against team B and, in the second half, he plays for team B against team A. This transfer window has been created to allow for a certain amount of business in a few other situations, but I think overall it damages the competitions.”

Redknapp, a manager of 30 years’ experience, said a shortage of deals had made agents more aggressive in pursuing a cut. “I have never seen anything like this transfer window,” he said. “Every agent seems to be trying to screw each other. It’s like gang warfare out there. It’s scary.”

Wenger has argued that Uefa should abandon the window, or impose limits on how man players clubs can buy. He said: “I think it [January transfers] should all be completely cut out or limited to two players.”

West Ham’s three-year shirt deal with Alpari starts next season and is understood to be worth the club £3m per year.

Alpari FX Trading – Global forex broker Alpari will be Principal Partner of West Ham United for three years from the start of the 2013/14 season. For more information on the sponsorship and Alpari, please visit alpari.com/sponsorship.