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Loophole Could See Brentford Lose Key Players After Transfer Window Shuts

Loophole Could See Brentford Lose Key Players After Transfer Window Shuts
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Billy Grant points out that Brentford are in big danger of losing key players AFTER deadline day on Aug 9th due to a loophole in the EFL transfer regulations. But will this be an issue? By the sounds of things. Yes it will.

So riddle me this ….  .. when is a shut window … not a shut window ? … when it is an EFL transfer window?

You’re probably looking at that joke thinking

“It’s not even funny”

and you’re dead right .. it’s certainly not …..

Less than twelve hours to go

Plenty of twitching

Rumour has it Ryan Woods if off to Swansea.

Or is he?

Rumour is saying Bournemouth and Leicester have been sniffing around Chris Mepham. With Brentford turning down a £15m bid. Or have they?

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The truth is … word on the street, things are very quiet at the moment. And admittedly, things could change in a couple of hours (cue Harry Redknapp and his wheelbarrow of cash at the end of the window last season)

If everything stays this quiet for the next 24 hours, we’re sorted.

Team intact.

Assault on the league table here we come.

Or maybe it is not quite that simple?

We even made the bold move of moving our Beesotted Pride Of West London Transfer Deadline Day podcast recording from Wednesday to Thursday evening so that we talk about the exciting deadline day comings and goings. Or not. 

We even put a call out to our blogger friends from various teams (Sheffield Wednesday. Birmingham. Leeds etc) to appear on the podcast and tell us how their window was whether they are delighted it’s now slammed shut.

Every year usually about this time, Beesotted is hard on the case. Chatting to Chinese Gary in the far East. Gabbing with our Yorkshire sources. Fratinising with Eastern European chums .. trying to find out where the next player to come, or leave, Brentford is going to turn up from.

The rumours of Engels coming in. We ignored them. No substance. 

The rumours of Carlton Cole .. now there’s a story with legs  .. 

This year, there has been a bit of action. But not much.

Then we realised why it was so quiet.

And we felt cheated.

Traditionally, the transfer deadline fell on the 1st September. This date always caused problems for football teams up and down the country.

With the majority of teams always doing their business in the last few days of the window this, date only disrupted action on the pitch with key players often not playing with full conviction – their hearts (and eyes) being focussed on a move elsewhere (remember that Jota miss against Wolves last season as he dreamt of Harry Redknapp?)

The EFL sensibly (we thought) subsequently moved the transfer deadline date to 9th August this year. The reason for this – to minimise any disruption at the start of the season and encourage teams to do their business before the season had got up and running.

This 9th August date was actually initially set by the Premier League. If truth be known, it’s a more convenient date for Premier League clubs than EFL clubs as it comes BEFORE the start of their season. Basically, all Premier League teams have to get their business done BEFORE a ball has been kicked.

The Premier League window is also better than the EFL window for one other very important reason. They removed the clause, under pressure from FIFA,  which allowed loans to take place even after the window has closed. So for Premier League clubs, once Thursday’s deadline has passed, they won’t be able to buy or loan anyone until the window reopens in January.

Not in the EFL though. For some peculiar reason, teams are still able to loan players in or out to any team in the UK or abroad (other than a Premier League team) after 9th August right up to August 31st – ironically pretty much the original transfer deadline date.

And this is where the loophole comes in.

It seems that a few teams (EFL and foreign) want a bit more time to look at the players they are planning to splash their cash on. Let them get a few games under their belt. Let’s see how they shape up this season.

So rather than locking them down before 9th August, they will continue with their process of looking. And chatting. And looking. And scouting. And bidding. And negotiating. Right up to August 31st. Then if they fancy the player, they can then negotiate a ‘loan’ deal to enable him to play for their team from September 1st through to January with a permanent deal already put in place UP FRONT for the player to move in January – with the money and add-ons all pre-agreed.

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So for example Ryan Woods.

We might be celebrating him staying at 5pm on Thursday evening. But four storming games later, Swansea are knocking on the door again with a loan deal for the next few months and with a permanent move penned in for January. All negotiated up front.

So moving the transfer window back to 9th August. What’s the point?

It makes a complete mockery of the process.

Apparently the powers to be at a number of football clubs warned the EFL that this was not going to work but it was implemented regardless. Unfortunately, we will have to see over the next few weeks how many teams decide to take advantage of the loophole. And how it affects our teams’ first few weeks of the season.

At least there is one upside. Once the window slams shut at 5pm and Mepham and Watkins don’t end up on Jim white’s ticker sheet, we’re alright. We’ve kept hold of them for another few months at least as it’s Premier League calling for those players. 

In the meantime, Brentford fans who were feeling twitchy over Ryan Woods .. and Chris Mepham .. and Ollie Watkins over the past few weeks. You can now feel extra twitchy about Neal Maupay if he scores 8 goals before the end of the month.

Or Romaine Sawyers – if he threads another exquisite pass through to his attackers.

Or Lewis McLeod – if he has another storming game like he did against Rotherham.

Or – and I’m being facetious here – Said Benrahma who has only started 20 minutes for The Bees but you just never know come Aug 31st with the new breed of Harry Redknapp wafting around the corridors of football clubs up and down the country.

So coming back to the opening question again ..

when is a shut window … not a shut window? …

When it’s really an open window … and it’s there for all to jump in and plunder

So Bees fans … get in your seat .. get strapped in .. close your eyes … and hold on tight …

Coz it looks like we’re in for a bit of a longer ride than any of us expected over the next few weeks

And hopefully when you open them again on September 1st, things will be exactly as they were when you closed them …..

All aboard the skylark ……

Billy Grant @BillyTheBee99      

Check out Billy Grant, Dave Lane, The Allard and Savvy Bee from this week’s Pride Of West London Not The Deadline Day Podcast live Thursday evening around 9.30pm.



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About The Author

BillytheBee Grant

Following Brentford for 30 years plus now .. write .. blog .. videoblog .. podcast ... photograph .. sleep .. Brentford .. am known to attend the occasional England match too (12 tournaments now) so am hardened to failure ... On the board and national council of the Football Supporters Federation. ... organised husky dog racing for a living back in the day ... as you do .. You don't wanna go up!!


  1. Mark croxford

    I really can’t see too much of that happening. A majority of teams will be in a very different place on 1st January to where they are on 31st August and priorities change (as well as managers and head coaches!). It’s all very well signing a pre-co tract agreement (ie Marcondes) when the financial outlay is not vast but look at the Swansea/Woods situation as an example.

    Perhaps the deal might go through today, and possibly that could be in the best interests of everyone, but if it doesn’t let’s assume the loan scenario comes into play. Swansea are scrapping to find the funds to pay for him now so are they really going to agree to pay now for someone they won’t get until next year? What if, even if they have a great start, the goals dry up and by January they are desperate for a striker (or a centre-back, or a goalkeeper) and yet they’ve spent valuable money on a midfielder who might not be top of their list then, despite being so now?

    Football is so fluid and unpredictable I reckon those clubs who act on impulse, ie pretty much all of them bar us (!) will get cold feet about entering into such deals.

    • BillytheBee Grant

      Fair point Mark. Maybe Ryan Woods was a bad example. I used him because he is currently in the transfer spotlight. The truth is it could be any player. And more to the point, like last season, a player who you think is comfortably settled has a few decent matches and next minute the vultures are at the door.

      The whole idea of this window was to allow business to be done early so that teams don’t get disturbed over the course of the month. That’s now not going to happen. We will be on tenterhooks until Aug 31st unfortunately because no-one took this loophole seriously.

      And yes it is happening. Teams truly believe they have an extra three weeks to buy a player. So hets hold onto our horses. And lets home next season the EFL sort this mess out.

  2. aussiebee 53

    Checked first thing this morning and was ecstatic to see we had not lost any of our gems only to read this article . We can but hope for the best whilst fearing ‘sods Law ‘ for the next three weeks,


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