League to ask Fifa to scrap transfer windows

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The Independent Football

The football league chairman, Sir Brian Mawhinney, is to meet Sepp Blatter, the president of the game's world governing body, Fifa, to push for the abolition of the domestic transfer windows that have crippled the finances of many lower-division clubs.

The summit could take place as early as next month after being agreed in principle at a meeting in London yesterday hosted by the Football Association with representatives from the League, Fifa and Uefa, the game's European governing body.

Fifa is reviewing the controversial close-season and January windows, introduced after months of painful negotiations with the European Commission, which effectively ban clubs from trading for all but a few weeks of the year.

League officials insist domestic transfers between Nationwide clubs and the Premier League for home-grown players should be allowed all year round and made their point at yesterday's Soho Square gathering.

"The European Commission never intended windows to be applied on a domestic as well as international level and we have this in writing," Andy Williamson, the Football League's operations director, said. "We put a very powerful case to Fifa and Uefa for some relaxation at domestic level and now look forward to a face-to-face meeting with Mr Blatter, which will be another opportunity for us to press our case."

Transfer revenue among Nationwide clubs fell by 47 per cent last season compared with the previous five-year average. "We have 72 clubs who historically have been sustained in part by the ability to sell players as and when they please. This ability has been taken away," Mawhinney said.