The EFL’s terms of a transfer embargo seem arbitrary and have no way of helping a club long-term
The transfer embargo is something that as Bolton Wanderers fans, we have all sort of just come to have accepted, having had to operate within the confines of it since the middle of the 2015-16. That`s more than 18 months, which is probably a record.
Today though, changes to the restrictions caused by the embargo seem to have been changed ahead of the season by the EFL. While players already on board are unaffected, new permanent signings won`t be allowed to earn more than £4,500 a week, less than half the £11,500 cap that was set previously.
I can`t grumble with the EFL wishing to keep us under an embargo. While work has been done to try and sort out the mess the club was left in at the time of the takeover, we`re still far from fixed. Winding up orders are still being issued, even if they are settled, and the BluMarble situation hasn`t been resolved yet. There was a ‘note from the Chairman` promptly up on the official site rebuking the Bolton News story, saying no new directive was issued to them last week, and “we never made an appeal to the EFL last week.”
But what does get my goat is the timing and the seemingly arbitrary nature of it all, even if these limits apply to any Championship club that finds themselves in a similar situation. Why are these limits being lowered less than two weeks before the start of the season, and if they had to be lowered, why was this not done, and made public knowledge, well before the transfer window and pre-season were underway, so we knew exactly where we stood.
Is this embargo and these measures meant to help struggling clubs get back on their feet, or are they meant to be hindrance to punish the club which only accelerates a decline, or is it the “we need to be seen to be doing something, even if it has no effect” scenario?
This embargo has stopped young players such as Jeff King get into the first team picture. Surely using players from the academy is something the EFL should be actively allowing and encouraging us to do if they want us to get back on our feet and help us become a financially sustainable football club.
Sensible thought doesn`t seem to be prevalent at the EFL though. This is an organisation who stands by and appears to do nothing while clubs like Blackpool, Blackburn, Charlton, Coventry and Leyton Orient were all run into the ground. This an organisation that pulls off one of the most unpopular rebrands of a competition ever, and despite a consultation process, sticks with the format. Don`t expect them to come up with a situation that would help a club in the right way.
But, if makes the EFL look like they are doing something, that’s good for their brand isn’t it?