Transfer Window? Huh? A Brief North American’s Guide to Trading Football Players
Let’s get something straight – in most parts of the world, football is what we call “soccer”. What you may not know is that “soccer” is NOT, I repeat NOT, a word invented by North Americans. In fact, it was a slang word used in England around the time the game was invented. I’m not going to get into how I know this, though perhaps I will another time. I admit it can be very confusing. For the purpose of this site, which is based in North America, I will mostly use “soccer” or “international football” unless otherwise stated.
Do you have someone in the office that seems to be shouting at his/her smartphone or laptop a lot lately? Are they shouting obscenities like, “I hate Chelsea!”, or “There is no way Ronaldo is going back to the BPL”? How about, “Why doesn’t Wenger want to spend”? If this sounds familiar, you likely have a footy fan in your midst.
The Premier League, the highest calibre of football in the UK, and quite possibly the world, are in the middle of its January transfer window. What is a transfer window, you ask? Let’s take a look:
The transfer window is the time during which football clubs can “transfer” players from other countries to and from their rosters. The player then registers for the club through FIFA, football’s governing body. ”Transfer window” is an unofficial term used to describe this period where transfers are open, or allowed. According to FIFA, each nation’s football association decides on the time of its ‘window’, as long as it does not exceed 12 weeks. Usually this is in the off-season, commonly during the summer. The second transfer window occurs during the season and is typically only four weeks.
The transfer window of a given football association governs only international transfers into that football association. International transfers out of an association are always possible to those associations that have an open window. The transfer window of the association that the player is leaving from does not have to be open, only the association the player is going to has to be open.
The transfer fee is the money paid from one club for the transfer of the desired player from his current club. The fee is not the player’s salary, only the rights to have him on the squad.
Here are the transfer windows for some of the bigger leagues:
England — End of season – August 31, January 1- January 31
Spain, Italy, Germany, France — July 1 – August 31, January 1-February 2
If that isn’t clear, please drop a line and I can elaborate.
…and that is the last word.