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Another Nail in the Coffin

By: Tony Hamilton
Date: 01/09/2002

ON Saturday night another nail was banged into the Nationwide League's coffin when from midnight until the last two weeks of December no transfers will be allowed between clubs.

How did this come about?

The whole transfer agreement was hammered out between FIFA, UEFA and the European Commission as a measure agreed by all parties during the transfer rules negotiations, designed to increase the stability of players' contracts. They also point to the fact the system has worked for many years in countries such as Spain, Italy and France.

How will if affect the Nationwide clubs?

From Saturday night until the last two weeks in December 2002 the windows stays shut, and then the last two weeks in December it opens then shuts again, so all the clubs having big wage earners can't transfer them.

What is the Football League and the FA doing about it?

The Football Association will allow the League to carry on with transfers until they have heard back from FIFA.

League spokesman John Nagle said if the Nationwide clubs are granted a dispensation for one or two seasons, they would view it as a trial period and would seek a permanent exemption at the end of it.

The League claim transfer windows could spell financial disaster for cash-strapped clubs who sometimes need to raise transfer revenue at short notice to keep afloat.

Nagle said: "We want a permanent dispensation because the the objections we have to the system are not going to go away, it's going to be just the same in two years.

"If we get some sort of agreement for a limited period we will regard it as a trial period for both sides rather than a transitional period, review it at the end and reserve our rights to reassess the situation."

He added: "It is very frustrating. We are just days away from an artificial transfer deadline that we have opposed for the best part of a year, yet still don't know if FIFA are going to recognise our objections."

What happens until this is all sorted out?

The FA's head of communications Paul Newman confirmed Football League clubs will be able to carry on with transfers beyond Saturday's deadline until they have heard back from FIFA.

He told the FA's web site, The Football Association would like to make it clear that there is no dispute between FIFA and the FA on the issue of a transfer window.

Whats are FIFA's thoughts about this??

FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said on this matter: "The principle of transfer windows cannot be removed, it is one of the cornerstones of our agreement with the European Commission.

"If there is any dispensation it would just be for a transitional period to soften the impact.

"We had a first proposal from the Football League which was too drastic, and our legal department are now looking at a second proposal. A decision is not likely to come until next week."

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