26 February 2012

Transfer Window - Ebbsfleet United

The following is my article that was published in the match day programme for the game against Southport United.

During last month the transfer window was open for all football clubs to actively try and make their squads stronger, with the aim being to either win a trophy, obtain promotion or to stave off the impending fear that relegation can bring. The elite clubs, with supposed money to burn, can obviously call the shots. They have the power and influence to do so. If you were following the transfer rumours during January it would appear that the top clubs in England were after every single player in Europe! Naturally, this was not the case, or was it?

However, the ‘Big Boys’ can offer top class players an attractive salary and bonus arrangement plus immediate access to sponsors. There are some Premier League players who earn more than £200,000 per week after tax! Imagine what a club like Ebbsfleet United could do with one week’s pay, kindly donated by Messrs Rooney and Tevez! The top clubs obviously negotiate with a player via a plethora of agents and club officials to ‘get their man’.

Players move from other countries to England because they feel they will have the ability to win trophies with their new club, play at the top level as well as increasing their chances of gaining representative honours. Oh, and I am sure the money helps a little too!

Drop down four divisions from the Premier League to the Blue Square Premier and it is a totally different situation.

Take our club, for example. Being part-time means that Ebbsfleet United cannot offer ridiculous amounts of money for a potential transfer target. It also means that the Manager becomes an expert at negotiation skills when dealing with players and other football clubs. Most Managers at this level will be looking for players who live fairly local, as relocation fees are not an option. In addition, they will be looking at players who want to re-start their careers, or younger players who just want match time to enhance their skills.

Loan signings are an important part of any team, especially lower league teams. Already this season we have seen Liam Daish acquire some fantastic loan signings. In fact, we welcome two new loan signings to the club. Gozie Ugwu has already marked his loan spell from Reading with a goal against Bath City last weekend. Our other loan signing needs no introduction as it is Lance Cronin who has come on loan from Bristol Rovers for a month as replacement for the suspended Preston Edwards.

Finally, a plea to all supporters at today’s game. As most of you will know there have been two raids on the club recently. In the first one our groundsman had some valuable tools stolen. In the second raid our tea hut was broken into and stock taken. In addition, a large amount of electrical cable was cut and stolen. This cable part supplies electricity to the Swanscombe end floodlights and the burger bars. Naturally, this is a big shock and loss for a club our size to cope with. If you can help in any way through a donation or volunteer your services or materials then please let the club know.

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