Catlin reveals Pompey transfer window objection

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Mark Catlin has lifted the lid on Pompey’s reasons for voting against Football League transfer window changes.

Clubs outside the top flight last week approved plans to fall in line with the Premier League.

We are not vehemently against the change, it just seems a bit of a mishmash trying to pacify different groups

Mark Catlin

It means the Football League transfer deadline has been brought forward to 5pm on Thursday, August 9.

However, clubs will still be able to recruit loanees and free agents until August 31.

Pompey were among 29 clubs who voted against the proposed changes, with Catlin unimpressed over a ‘mishmash’ of an idea.

Pompey’s chief executive said: ‘It wasn’t that as a club we were against the principle of the transfer window moving, it was more the fact in life you try to simplify things – but we felt this complicated it.

‘In this case, you can still loan players until the end of August and you can still do loan-to-buys up until the end of August.

‘You end up with a load of loan signings and, as we have seen this year, I am not sure supporters particularly like that.

‘Added to that, we align ourselves with the Premier League. So if they want to change it again next year, which quite possibly they may do if other European leagues do not fall in line, then it alters again. It just gets too confusing.

‘We are not vehemently against the change. It just seems a bit of a mishmash trying to pacify different groups.

‘I just think, as a league, we have to do what is best for us.

‘It is done with the best intentions, it’s just we didn’t particularly agree in how we have arrived at a situation where you can do loans but not permanents.

‘I would have liked a decision one way or another but it’s just a bit of a halfway house.

‘Based on that, we voted to stick with the current rules.’

Effectively, after the transfer window has closed, there are 23 days to bring in loanees.

And Catlin believes that can unsettle players.

He added: ‘If you allow the loan window to remain open you are not stopping the uncertainty.

‘If a Championship team wanted one of our players on loan then they could still come and unsettle the player and force us to do a loan deal rather than a permanent.

‘We know you can’t force any club to do anything but it still leads to the unsettling of a player who might want to leave. So why change and confuse the issue?’