Many times we see someone who was playing for a certain team for instance Manchester United go to another team like Manchester City. The phrase we hear is transfer season but what does it really mean? What really happens during this period of Football transfers, what are the terms and how is it done?

The transfer window is the period during the year in which a football club can transfer players from other countries into their playing staff. Such a transfer is completed by registering the player into the new club through FIFA. “Transfer window” is the unofficial term commonly used by the media for the concept of “registration period” as described in the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Player.[1] According to the rules, each national football association decides on the time (such as the dates) of the ‘window’ but it may not exceed 12 weeks. The second registration period occurs during the season and may not exceed four weeks.

The transfer window of a given football association governs only international transfers into that football association. International transfers out of an association are always possible to those associations that have an open window. The transfer window of the association that the player is leaving does not have to be open.

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Transfers are only done twice in a year. The dates stay put unless changed. There are also players who are free agents who can be signed any day and any time. There are times when players are loaned to play for another team. Such a time is known as a loan period.

There are two transfer windows in the Premier League, and similar is the case for all other European Leagues as well. These are the summer and the winter transfer windows. The summer transfer window in the Premier League opens on July 1 and closes on Aug 31 at midnight. The winter transfer window opens on Jan 1 and closes on Jan 31 at midnight. These dates can be changed by a day or two, if they fall on a weekend.

Note: Free agents can be signed at any time during the season and not just during the transfer window. Additionally, there is an extension of the transfer window for a couple of weeks, called the loan window, in which loan deals can still be done.

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Obviously clubs have a certain player who they believe will fulfill their football fantasies. If a team finds a certain player suitable then they will give an offer to the player and the club he plays for. The club that is offered the deal can accept or reject the offer. Clubs may source for players independently or make use of agents.


How does a transfer start?

A written offer will be made for a player and the selling club may reject or accept any bid.

The two parties will then keep going backwards and forwards until they negotiate a fee.

Clubs may also contact an agent to work on their behalf and ask them to find a buyer for a particular player. This situation can arise if a player is not playing games.

An agent might also speak to a club who decide that for whatever reason it is in the best interests of a player to leave. An agent would be given permission to speak to other clubs and given a specific fee the sellers have in mind for the player.

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