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Saturday, January 31, 2009
FIFA set to stand firm over January window

FIFA will stand firm on January transfer window regulations, despite rising opposition from Premier League chairmen.

A number of top-flight chairmen and managers are unhappy about the January slot.

But a senior FIFA source said the system was agreed with the European Commission, UEFA and players' unions - and all bodies would therefore have to agree to any changes.

The FIFA source told PA Sport: ''The Premier League cannot impose unilateral changes to the transfer window - it would have to be agreed by all the organisations including FIFA, UEFA and the EC.''

Blackburn chairman John Williams wants transfers only be allowed to take place in the summer.

He told PA Sport: ''I'm not a fan of the January window - but I'm even less a fan of the window being permanently open.

''I could be persuaded of the radical view of only allowing transfers in the summer unless there was an emergency need, for example for a goalkeeper.

''But I accept we could not do this unilaterally in the UK.''

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn is strongly opposed to the January window.

Quinn said: ''In my time as chairman this has been the most demanding month - in fact it has surpassed all ridiculousness.

''The other day I heard someone say that football was losing the plot and I'm inclined to think that the removal of the January window might help the game to regain some sanity.''

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not a fan of the transfer window either - unlike his Manchester United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson, who has said before he does not have a problem with the system.

Wenger said: ''I do not like it. Every press conference is a bore about players who might come in than about the players who play and do something for the club.

''Others get too much importance at a part of the season where it is more important that you rely on people who fight for you than for those who might come in - that cannot be a great help for the club at the moment.''

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