Greetings and welcome,
Bit of background on myself, I've been a Blue my whole life and a Season Ticket holder in the Lower Gwladys since 07/08. Originally from Southfields in London, I moved to Liverpool in 2007 and I'm a regular contributor about Everton on the Evertonians of 606 forum.
I have recently returned from a very underwhelming World Cup, from an English perspective anyway. Although I am still relatively a novice when it comes to blogging I aim to provide you with an insightful, humorous and a somewhat constructive weekly update concerning the goings on at Goodison Park, as well keeping an eye on elsewhere.
For my first entry for Soccernet I want to focus on, what may seem a quite unimaginative subject to begin with but at this time of year it is hard to ignore, the transfer window. An Evertonians relationship with these two Summer months is indifferent, on one hand it is met with real excitement as a plethora of exotic names are linked with the club or are seen at Finch Farm or spotted with Davey and Bill in Wetherspoons. Of course the flipside of the period is we have to endure the torture of reading endless stories of our finest servants mulling over multi-million pound deals from Russian oil magnates on the Kings Road, Sheiks from East Manchester or 'Arry in his "Manor".
I have always looked upon the ruling of a set time frame for transfer activity as a positive for a club like Everton. For the first decade of the Premier League, the Toffees were the perennial underachievers of the division, consistently bobbing just above a future in the lower leagues and in stark contrast to what was seen in the 1980's. There are many theories to why this happened, some look at the banning of English teams in Europe after the Heysel disaster as the catalyst whilst others believe Peter Johnson's stewardship as Chairman of Everton Football Club was detrimental in its fall from grace.
Whilst I understand that the banning order put in place in 1985 meant that Everton missed out on lucrative sponsorship deals and became a less desirable home for the games elite players, I also understand that Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham, to name a few, were also affected by this embargo yet continued to reach the upper echelons of England's top league, so I'm uncertain whether this hugely impacted the Club as much as some make out.
As I look more closely at the Johnson era, and that of his predecessor David Marsh, Everton's decline becomes more apparent, a number of poor business decisions and delusional visions for the future meant Everton were no longer fighting for the title but fighting for their Premiership status and to keep some of our best players. Club Captain and boyhood Blue Gary Speed found his future to be elsewhere and prize asset Duncan Ferguson was sold without the knowledge of the then manager Walter Smith.
The lack of a transfer window opened up these opportunities, Everton and clubs around them at that time would struggle to keep a team together for a whole season, as star performers could be prised away at anytime, meaning just as headway may have been gained between August and October by November you're looking for a new centre forward, with a small budget. The Bosman Ruling in 1995 also encouraged desperate Chairmen to cash in on saleable commodities as soon as possible rather than lose them for free the following Summer.
At the start of the 2002-2003 season FIFA imposed a worldwide Football transfer window rule, each Association would be able to allow their leagues to have two opportunities for the transfer of players within a season. Most of Europe adhere to a Summer window between July 1st and 31st August and a Winter window between January 1st and 31st.
Two immediate reasons this was of great benefit to Everton are, it allowed for a longer period of stability within the starting eleven without the fear of losing someone just as the team was gelling, and it also meant that if for whatever reason be it injury or suspension, a player would have to be replaced from within the already established setup, giving a far better opportunity to nurture youth and blood them earlier, Wayne Rooney, Leon Osman, Jack Rodwell and Jose Baxter are prime examples of this. So if you are to lose anyone during the Winter window you know you already have another option ready to take their place. 2002 was in general a very good year for Everton as it also saw the arrival of David Moyes who has slowly but surely rebuilt the Blue side of Merseyside back into top 4 challengers and the windows have, in my humble opinion, have been instrumental in his success.
As this window nears its last fortnight, Evertonians everywhere are crossing their fingers that midnight will come on September 1st without the loss of any of our 1st team as well as the confirmed acquisition of Captain America, Landon Donovan, heading back over this side of the pond.
So remember next time you look at the transfer window with fear and anxiety of departures from Goodison, just think "it's only a couple of months, we used to have a whole season of this"!
Until next time, thanks for reading
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