Lou Macari: Sky manage to milk their window of opportunity
I THINK Sky deserve to win all the television awards going for the way they generated so much excitement over transfer deadline day.
No matter how much they hyped it up, often with an ironic smile it must be said, in reality the whole day was pretty much a non-event.
The first interview with Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was quite interesting early in the morning.
But by the 10th showing at about 5pm it was getting just a bit tiresome.
Thank heavens David Beckham signed for Paris St Germain and held a press conference that day, otherwise there would have been next to no action to report.
The cameras kept crossing to Stoke's training ground where we were led to believe there would be a cavalry charge of ins and outs.
But, in the end, it was the signing of an American who's not ready to play and an English goalkeeper who's gone straight back to Birmingham.
At least the signing of Jack Butland is a pointer to what might happen to Begovic in the summer transfer window.
The truth is, of the 70 or 80 deadline-day signings, only seven or eight were actually for money.
Hardly the cash bonanza the publicists wanted.
Personally, I'd do away with this artificial one-month window in January.
I think it gives an unfair advantage to those clubs with money to splash around to get themselves out of trouble, like QPR and Newcastle.
It also condenses the opportunity for business and so causes all kinds of pressure in the build-up to the deadline itself.
No wonder Harry Redknapp claims it's like gang warfare among agents, while West Ham co-owner David Sullivan said he was actually threatened by one player's representative.
With the money involved and the greed of the people chasing it, how long before the threat of physical violence is followed by a murder somewhere along the way?
I wouldn't go back to the old end-of-March deadline because that only worked years ago when there wasn't so much money in the game. Re-introduce that deadline now and you'd have even more panic buying to try to purchase a title, a cup win, or avoid relegation.
No, I'd allow clubs to trade as normal during the first half of the season, up until Christmas let's say.
Then I'd close the trading window until the end of the season.
For me, that would allow normal business to take place earlier in the season and prevent any of the panic buying which just puts money into the pockets of agents.
Then, from Christmas on, clubs would have to go with what they've got.
Best of all, we wouldn't have to sit through the charade that is the transfer deadline day at the end of January... and the one at the end of August come to think of it.
I'd also like to see the manager (remember him?) being the one to sanction which player a club is trying to sign.
Today, there are all kinds of people poking their noses into deals, usually people with no real football knowledge – the people you can't see for dust when a signing turns out to be a dud.
Give the manager the power to do deals – and let him carry the can if they go wrong.
You might then avoid the fiasco that was Peter Odemwingie last Thursday.
Had Redknapp been allowed to negotiate any deal going, rather than having a multitude of other people sticking their finger into the pie, we might have avoided the embarrassing sight of Odemwingie being barred entry to Loftus Road and then cast aside by his club.
Mind you, it did give Sky's viewers something more to feast on.