Exclusive: Hamman calls for shorter transfer window

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dietmar-hamannFormer Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester City midfielder, Dietmar Hamman has called for the January transfer window to be reduced to just a week to reduce the strain on managers and players.

With so much hype and media attention around the window, culminating in the 24 hour coverage by broadcasters on the final day, the January transfer window is becoming more and more stressful for all involved in it’s dizzying reportage and now the former German international Hamman has called for the window’s shortening.

Hamman, who is out of work since his resignation at Stockport in November of last year, has experienced the window as both player and coach and believes that the stress and distraction that the window brings in both roles.

Speaking ahead of the launch of his new book, Hamman said, “I think [the transfer window]is too long, the window is open for a month but I think it only needs to stay open for a week, or ten days would be enough as it leads to uncertainty and unsettles players at football clubs.”

This was evident in last month’s window in the case of Wigan’s Hugo Rodallega who was linked with various moves to clubs such as QPR and Tottenham. The speculation around his future obviously had an effect on the Colombian striker with his manager Roberto Martinez dropping him to the bench. The Wigan boss stated that he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to play against a side that he was relentlessly linked with on the window’s final day.

Speaking to the Mirror, Martinez bemoaned the “circus” of the transfer deadline day and it’s effect on his star player, “From our point of view, it wasn’t a good idea to play a match on deadline day because it becomes a bit of a circus – and one of my players (Hugo Rodallega) was caught up in the speculation, which is not right.”

Hamman was just as critical of the window, going as far as describing the January opening as “farcical” for it’s duration. The former MK Dons and Leicester coach, capped fifty-nine times by his country, added, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with [the transfer window], it gives you a chance to strengthen the squad due to injury but, at the same time, I think [the duration]is a little bit farcical and the window should be a week. When you look at all the transfers [that occur in January]they all, well 90% of them happen in the last week, if not the last day, so I don’t see any reason why the window should be open for a month. To have it open for a week, I think, would be long enough.”

Hamman does seem to have a point with over half of the deals that saw players move to Premier League clubs on a permanent basis happening on deadline day and 71% of those moves happening in the final week of January. Meanwhile, six of the eleven loan deals that saw players joining a Premier League club happened on the final day with a total of eight moving in the final week of the month.

The former German international is certainly on to something and his calls for a shorter window would certainly go down well with most of the managers in the football league as the January window provides more and more unwanted distraction for players and coaches up and down the country as the media build up the event in sensationalist style.

Hamman’s book, Didi Man: My Love affair with Liverpool is now on sale through Headline publishing and is available in stores.

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I studied Broadcast Journalism at Southampton Solent University and currently write for bwin betting's promotional website and the Deep Extra Cover, Daily Football News and Football Speak websites listed above, as well as presenting a weekly sports show for Devizes Hospital Community Radio. My dream is to work as a sports journalist reporting on the biggest news across the sporting world.

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