It is a relief that the transfer window in the State League in Western Australia has finally closed. It seems crazy that with more than half the season gone players were still able to change clubs. This situation needs to be looked at and players should be locked in earlier in the season, and possibly a one-week window opened at the halfway point so players who are not getting game time can explore the possibility of changing to a club that will give them a start, or clubs can find cover for injured players.
However these were the rules this season, and you work within those rules. What has been disappointing, and many clubs are raising this issue, is that despite signs at every ground with the word “Respect” emblazoned on it, some clubs or coaches have showcased a complete lack of respect for their fellow coaches or their fellow clubs.
What has been happening is coaches have been approaching players directly to try and entice them to their club; we must state that this is not the case at all clubs. It has always been the unwritten rule that before speaking to a player, the coach or the club making the approach would contact the club or coach they wish to take the player from and ask if it was all right to talk to them. In most cases clubs would advise the player and allow him to talk to them if he wished to hear what was on offer. This season that common courtesy has been thrown out of the window, and that is a very sad day for the game.
The reason given by one club, was that the player concerned was not on a professional contract so therefore was ‘fair game.’ That may well be the case but if the game is to improve its standing and reputation there needs to be standards that are adhered to and respect shown to fellow clubs and coaches. This attitude is both selfish and ultimately undermines the many people trying to do things the right way.
Finally, it is only right to lay some blame at the feet of certain players who willingly open dialogue with a club while still being paid by another and not advising their current employer of the approach. Players will always be “tapped” as to whether they may consider a move, but once an official move is being considered the coaches and the clubs should talk to each other, and only then should the player discuss terms.
Hopefully this behavior, which seems to have been more prevalent this year, will soon be stamped out, as it is ultimately not helping the game and shows a complete lack of respect, something we are all trying to bring back to football.