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[Blog] For Those Panicking About the Lack of Transfer Activity
Written by Guthrum on Sunday, 24th Jun 2012 00:28

Many posters on both the forum and the news comments have been getting excited about the fact we haven't made many transfers as yet and there's "only a week to go until pre-season starts" [sic].

I thought I'd do some analysis of last summer's transfers brought in by Championship clubs to see what that could tell us about when that activity occurred.

I've included cash and free transfers, ignored loans and broken up the season into half-month sections - plus an extra one for the last day (when there's always a lot of activity).

The results are as follows:

1st to 15th May - 7 (4.5%)
16th to 31st May - 4 (2.6%)
1st to 15th June - 11 (7.1%)
16th to 30th June - 27 (17.3%)
1st to 15th July - 38 (24.4%)
16th to 31st July - 21 (13.5%)
1st to 15th August - 20 (12.8%)
16th to 30th August - 14 (9.0%)
31st August - 14 (9.0%)

From this it can be seen that very little is done before the middle of June. Activity peaks sharply over the following 30 days (41.7% of the total), then declines gradually to the end of August with a final burst on the last day. In other words, transfer business does not really get going until the period immediately before and just after the beginning of pre-season, when everyone's back from holiday and things start moving at the clubs again.

In fact, just 21% of signings had taken place up to 23rd June. The previous summer, 2010, things didn't really kick off until the beginning of July. So, in reality, nobody in the Championship gets all their new players in before the squad reassembles for pre-season training.

This summer's transfer activity seems to be conforming to the same pattern as last year - if not slower - with only 16 up to 15th June, but is just beginning to pick up now.

Based on this, it's not that surprising that there's been little movement so far, but I'm expecting things to really get going over the next six to eight weeks.

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martleshamitfc added 00:40 - Jun 24
Thanks for the belief that not every professional player hates Ipswich, but still find it hard to accept that we are no longer an attractive club to come too. Having said that we are an established club in the championship and it is more likely the only way we are going to get out of this league is to enter League One! Sad but true!

harlingblue added 00:43 - Jun 24
We have already made a major signing...Brian Klug. In him we trust to restart the push of Academy players given a real chance in the 1st Team...Hyam who should have been a regular for the past two season, comes to mind?

monytowbray added 01:02 - Jun 24
Hang on. Let's think where some of our best players of 12 years ago came from. Holland - Bournemouth, Stewart - Huddersfield, Johnson - Bury, McGreal - Tranmere, J. Wright - Crewe.

Our issue is paying for players on name alone with no real scouting going on like it did in the Burley/Sheepshanks days. We don't really seem to find gems overseas anymore, and spend most our time chasing players worth far more than their worth. I'd happily sign 5 league one players with a bit of promise and 2 of them turn out to be crap than spend £3m on one player who turns out to be crap. Not to mention Clegg's fantastic ability to lose any return on the lost money by letting contracts expire.

I'd also rather focus on keeping the good players we have like Scotland and just look for central defenders (where we've been weak long before RK started). we scored enough last season to rescue what should have been a terrible goal difference with some of our heavy defeats last season, it doesn't take a genius to see where the problems are.

At least we have some faith in the Youths with Klug's return, even if I got fed up of Clegg banging on about how great it is to have him back. If you care so much Clegg why did we choose overpaid players sat on the bench over going for a Cat. 1 youth system? Hmmm...

footers added 01:22 - Jun 24
What's the '[sic]' about?! There's nothing wrong with that quote; in fact there's more wrong with what you've written yourself. But as this is a simple mathematical calculation, which has no bearing on reality, rather than an informed blog-post, we should let you off. You've ordered transfers by date- congrats. Difficult. They don't mean anything. Right players, right time, right circumstances- no other way.

Garv added 01:28 - Jun 24
Callis the two signings we've made so far are aged 18 and 19, one from league two, one from Italy, and are two players virtually no one has heard of. Plus our best signing of last summer was Aaron Cresswell who came from Tranmere.

So I don't think this is very fair: 'Our issue is paying for players on name alone with no real scouting going on like it did in the Burley/Sheepshanks days. We don't really seem to find gems overseas anymore, and spend most our time chasing players worth far more than their worth'

monytowbray added 01:34 - Jun 24
Gary, I know this season we have, but before we have spent a lot of time chasing same league players or P'ship. Possibly because ME isn't coughing up the same money as he did in previous seasons. The few we have signed from smaller clubs is a fraction of our signings of the last 4 years.

Garv added 02:11 - Jun 24
Yep, agreed.

Great blog by the way Guthrum, finally a bit of sense.

Blue041273 added 16:00 - Jun 24
I agree that this puts an interesting perspective on things but would argue that, by themselves, such stats do not tell the full story.

I would guess that most clubs review staffing levels during the latter part of a season and decide which players are surplus to requirements. I would also expect that a range of replacement options designed to take the club forward are considered well before the start of the close season. These options would, I would hope, be compiled through months of diligent research via the various scouting networks and other contacts maintained by the management team. It follows that the recruitment process, via approaches to club, agent and player etc will start as early as possible.

Of course many of the 'wish list' targets may be impossible dreams; the players may not be interested, the host clubs may not want to part with the player, terms may not be able to be agreed, etc, etc, but all these things should be apparent reasonably early after a season ends. Then Plan B in the player recruitment process kicks in.

I would suggest that the majority of clubs in the Championship are unable to conclude early deals for their favoured choices and are thus obliged though increasing desperation as pre-season develops to descend to panic buying which helps to explain the stats.

As for ITFC this is not altogether PJ's fault; he cannot force his targets to come here. However, those us us who are concerned about the lack of transfer activity have concluded that we must now be into Plan B territory and that reinforcement of a severely depleted squad must be soon approaching the panic stage.

Of course market conditions being as they are, there will no doubt be opportunities to pick up disaffected players displaced from squads who recruit other players themselves. While we should always be aware of such developments with a view to enhancing our own squad, we should not rely on such opportunities to fill gaps.

Take a look at the current squad rosters for other teams in the Championship. Few, if any, are as threadbare as ours, particularly in the the critical GK/CB positions. We may still have good players but we are not, in any shape or form, currently equipped to start a Championship season. Look at Leeds, they were roughly in the same shape as ourselves at the end of last season. They have arguably strengthened in key areas whereas we have done nothing. Are we going to be able to recruit better players before the end of the transfer window than Leeds have already?

At the end of the day stats are merely a record of data not a guide to policy or even reassurance that practice based on statistical evidence can be successful.

rosseden added 12:34 - Jun 25
on the basis we wanted 6 or so in, we have 2 in, that make it 33% in so far. which, by my reckoning makes us ahead of the % game..... on another note, as i said many months ago, with the FFP rules and the lack of funds in the game, expect some good players to be struggling for clubs come the end of the window..... blackpool very nearly stayed in the EPL with a £10k wage cap and 'cast offs', so time will tell..... great blog Guthrum, shame most wont take the time to acknowledge the facts, preferring an opinion based, fact starved rant.......

TractorRoyNo1 added 23:56 - Jun 25
early bird catches the worm

airliner added 04:53 - Jun 26
every other club seems to be doing business just not ipswich. I think it might be the wages that put them off. Clegg does not have a clue how to run a club.

rosseden added 12:21 - Jun 26
thats interesting Airliner, last time i checked we had signed two players, which other clubs have signed more than two already?

Blue041273 added 13:32 - Jun 26

The signings so far are purely to make up the shortfall of players coming through the academy at the end of last season One of them has a long term injury. They have been signed for the future not necessarily for the coming season and therefore in most people's eyes don't really count towards the player requirements list.

rosseden added 13:50 - Jun 26
fair point about planning for the future and the poor crop from the academy, but i still struggle to see how we're so far behind everyone else..... Id rather wait for the right players than just take who is available now. If were going to panic buy then wait to see who is there at the end, a lot of players wont have clubs come the end of the window.... there isnt enough cash in the game at our level to sustain sqauds sizes as clubs have done before.....

ipswichjon added 07:52 - Jun 29
For all the comments made about no signings, another player not choosing us blah blah blah here's some more statistics concerning the FLC, We've made 2 signings so far, as of Thursday only 5 teams in the Championship have signed more players than us, Barnsley, Leciester & Wolves with 3 each and Leeds (Warnock has to have 10 strikers!) and Sheff Wed with 4. Only 3 other teams have made as many signings as us, Brighton, Huddersfield & Peterborough. Of the remaining teams 9 have made NO signings so far and 6 have made 1 signing.
19 Teams have signed the same amount or less players than us, thats around 78% of the league.

Patience is a virtue...

Sharkey added 06:16 - Jun 2
In Welsh, words that start with a B start with an M when they’re in the dative. So if someone passes the ball ‘to Burns’ , he becomes Murns.

( on this basis , the ‘welcome to Bangor’ sign in Welsh is ‘croeso I Mangor’.
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