On Tuesday, through no fault of their own, Sheffield United will be placed in an absolutely ridiculous situation.
With his employers set to contest a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Hartlepool two hours before the transfer window shuts, manager Nigel Adkins could arrive at Victoria Park having seen his preparations hijacked by some last minute negotiations or, worse still, someone pencilled in to start spirited off the team bus en route.
The decision to schedule games so close to the deadline has once again brought this method of buying and selling players to the forefront of the footballing debate. Adkins, who last night called for its anomalies to be addressed, is not shy about revealing on which side he stands.
“It’s crazy,” he told The Star. “We are going to be at Hartlepool and an hour or so before kick-off the window will shut. Lots of deals get done in the last two days, probably most in fact.
“It (the window) should finish when the season starts, in my view. It’s unfair for clubs to make plans through pre-season worrying about whether players who are in them will still be there. Every manager out there, if people are listening to them, will tell you exactly the same thing.
“Ideally, you get your business done early. But that’s not always possible due to various things.”
Adkins, speaking ahead of the first-round tie, confirmed United have no plans to part company with any members of their squad but refused to rule out the possibility of recruiting reinforcements.
“At some stage, I suppose, there has to be a cut- off point and it’s been deemed to be that day,” he said. “The brinkmanship makes it exciting but it needs looking at, yes.
“Conversations have been going on here, exactly as they will have been everywhere else. It’s always an interesting time.”