Definition of Transfer Window

Once the football season has ended, the rumours about team changes begins in earnest. When the playing has stopped, that is when teams really start to focus on signing and registering players for the next season. In the media, this is commonly known as the transfer window.

The transfer window in the sport of football is almost as entertaining as the sport itself.  What is it and how does it work?  Illustration / Drawing.Regardless of the country or league, the transfer window is the time of year that allows clubs to sign players. It was commonly used by European leagues before being enforced worldwide by FIFA in the 2002-2003 season. This regulation demands that there are two windows in each league: a longer one (that is a maximum of 12 weeks) in between seasons and a shorter one (that is a maximum of 1 month) in the middle of a season. The specific timing depends on the country and league season cycle.

This timing can cause some issues between leagues. For example, the Brazilian top league started April 27th and ended December 8th in 2019. Many of the top European transfer windows fall right in between July and September. If a club in Europe (which is typically viewed as more desirable for reputation and wages) wants a key player from one of these Brazilian teams, then the club is almost helpless to do anything to prevent the transfer from going through. Other windows, like in the United States and the Nordic countries, are constrained to shorter times because of the weather and competition with other popular sports.

Regardless of location, the transfer window is one of the busiest times of year for sports media, as near constant reports flow in on different transfers from all around the world. Fortunately, it looks as though this system of excitement is set to continue, giving plenty of entertainment even off the pitch.