How we came close to a Premiership loan

In my last article in the Eastern Daily Press a fortnight ago, I talked about how the transfer window has come about, and the challenges that it imposes on clubs trying to bring new players into their teams.

In my last article in the Eastern Daily Press a fortnight ago, I talked about how the transfer window has come about, and the challenges that it imposes on clubs trying to bring new players into their teams. I am writing this week's article ahead of the Wednesday midnight deadline, fully conscious that by the time that the EDP is published on Thursday, the window will once again have slammed firmly shut.

And that means, for every single one of England's 92 Premiership and League clubs, no more player sales or standard (ie window to window) loans, until the summer.

From now until February 7, all clubs will be in limbo, with no deals of any sort allowed to be registered. But after February 7, Football League clubs only will be allowed to loan in players on the basis of 'emergency loans', which can be anywhere from 28 days to 93 days in length.

And this fact alone perhaps explains the reticence of some Premier League clubs to loan out their players ahead of January 31. Because, while the window remained open, there remained a chance of selling players before the summer.


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With the window now shut, and our Premiership brethren expressly forbidden to loan in any players, nor able to loan players out overseas, the Football League provides the only outlet for Premiership clubs to get surplus players out playing games.

And so while we have been frustrated in our efforts to bring certain Premiership players here on loan, it is perhaps understandable.

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For a number of weeks, we had been tracking a player at one of the biggest Premiership teams. We were led to believe that the lad wanted to come to us, that acceptable (although expensive) terms had been agreed, and that the club concerned were happy to let the deal go through. But then, virtually at the last minute, it became clear that there was a deal to sell him abroad.

This is not a sob story - it is a fact that we, like every other club, are not always masters of our own destiny. There seems to be a perception in some quarters that we are not doing enough to make deals happen; that the club are out of touch with supporters' concerns about team strengthening. Actions, of course, speak louder than words.

And in that regard, it has been a productive transfer window, with permanent and loan deals concluded for five players - Mark Fotheringham, Luke Chadwick, David Marshall, Simon Lappin and Chris Brown.

Other players have left the club as part of Peter's ongoing plans to revitalise our squad - plans fully supported by the board.

No one is pretending that this season has so far been anything short of extremely disappointing.

But with new players, our continuing involvement in the FA Cup, and the tremendously loyal and vociferous support that we continue to enjoy, let's hope the second half of this season brings the excitement, passion and enthusiasm that we all crave.

We saw some of that excitement, passion and enthusiasm against Wolves on Tuesday night, on the pitch and in the stands.

More of that, and a bit more luck in front of goal, and I am confident that we will move up the table.

On The Ball, City

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