Over the next few weeks, plenty of sport headlines will be dominated by the transfer window as Premier League clubs look to add quality to their squads ahead of the new season. This isn’t the only transfer window of its kind with another taking place mid-season offering clubs the chance to enhance their sides halfway through the campaign.
Today, we’re considering whether such a concept could benefit Super League. Right now, there is a kind of transfer window. Essentially, the transfer window is open until deep into the season and then shuts before immediately opening again for the new season. So, any signing made after this point is a signing made for the upcoming campaign.
Of course, many signings completed in Super League are done well in advance anyway. Look at the likes of Aidan Sezer. We all know he’s headed to Leeds but won’t play for them until 2022 such is the nature and importance of contracts in Super League.
However, we still see plenty of what I would consider proper transfers in Super League where fees are paid and players are moved on immediately. For instance, there was a transfer merry-go-round back in 2019 with players from Hull KR, Salford and Leeds bouncing around.
Even this season we see this kind of business occur even if in the shape of loans. Look at Leigh and Huddersfield, the pair exchanged players in a loan swap deal and by all accounts the Centurions still have more business to do.
But at some stage you’ve got to ask if this is the way things should be. I’ve often thought that this creates a bit of a mess and makes it hard for supporters to keep track of who’s where and what business has been conducted as it can happen at any moment. Perhaps it also creates a degree of instability in sides as squads could be radically changed at any moment.
Thus, perhaps the introduction of a mid-season transfer window would make things simpler. It’d create greater stability in squads, put an end to the current situation when a transfer can happen at any random moment forcing clubs to make difficult and decisive decisions where player recruitment and squad-building is concerned. Moreover, it could prompt coaches to look for more pragmatic solutions following injuries instead of flashing the cash and drafting in someone else’s star player.
It’d also allow casual fans to keep track of where players are with greater ease and could even become a news worthy event. Often people criticise the sport for not finding its way into the news enough, for not having enough headline grabbing events. Well, a transfer window could be a way to combat that. We’ve all seen the attention football’s transfer window attracts, why can’t rugby league do the same?