BROWNE ON THE BALL: Forget the transfer deadline, football’s better with options

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With a collection of yellow ties, a piece of purple plastic and some very colourful language, world football’s transfer window slammed shut late on Monday night.

A mere £345,000 per week (allegedly) was all it took to convince Radamel Falcao to swap the sunkissed lifestyle of Monaco’s Mediterranean coast - and Champions League football - for the best part of a season at rainy Manchester’s second-best club.

Hull City haven’t changed their name, yet, but in the space of 24 hours they did manage to change half of their starting XI.

But sadly, apart from those snippets and the fact it took Saphir Taider almost a whole month to convince himself that life in Italy is a bit more fun to what Southampton has to offer, deadline day again failed to live up to the hype.

Unfortunately, the last day of the transfer window is a bit like Liverpool versus Newcastle, and those epic 4-3 matches.

It was so good once that they said it couldn’t happen again. But it did, the next time around, and then suddenly everyone expects this to be the norm.

Transfer deadline day is, of course, a spectacle for fans of the big clubs around the world.

It’s football’s version of last orders at the pub, where a mass scramble can define what happens next - whether you can hand over some cash and have one to remember or trudge the streets aimlessly thinking about what might have been.

Boston United may not have European football (no Colwyn Bay jokes) but they do have (in the sense of that lightweight comparison from the previous sentence) European drinking laws.

The Pilgrims sit at the highest level of the game in this country which is unaffected by the window.

In theory, as long as the books are balanced, United don’t have to worry about any transfer or loan deadlines until March.

And in that time I’d expect quite a bit to happen.

On Saturday, manager Dennis Greene reiterated the fact that he is ‘always looking’ to bring in a player or two if he thinks that can improve the side’s fortunes.

And such is the nature of non-league that it would be hardly surprising were a new face to arrive at the Jakemans Stadium anytime soon.

Of the team which began United’s Conference North campaign at Stockport County last season, only three players - Carl Piergianni, Scott Garner and Ricky Miller - started the final match.

That starting XI for the final day at Worcester City included seven players who joined during the season, while three of the players who kicked off at Edgeley Park had left the club and a further three moved on this summer.

This is how non-league football works and, although I’m sure pretty much every Pilgrims fan would rather their side was in a higher division and restricted by the transfer window, you have to admit it’s fun knowing you could wake up any morning throughout most of the season knowing your team could be signing a new player that day.

The transfer deadline was originally brought in with the belief it would stabilise clubs and keep greedy agents at bay for long periods of the season, representing a level of the game which clubs like Boston United aspire to be at.

Instead, it has just created a circus of panic buys where average players are needlessly shifted about for up to double what their skill sets are worth, lining those very agents’ pockets nicely and leaving desperate clubs with expensive regrets.

United aren’t governed by a transfer deadline, therefore, unlike Sky Sports’ on-the-spot reporters picking out a tie for their big day, it’s nice to have options.