Soccer-January transfer window should be limited - FIFPro


By Julien Pretot

PARIS, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Soccer clubs should not be allowed to transfer more than one or two players during the January window, world players' union FIFPro president Philippe Piat said on Tuesday.

"I'm a bit radical so I would say that we should not have a winter transfer window because we want stability for the players' contracts," Frenchman Piat told Reuters.

"But obviously there could be some adjustments, for instance when a player does not play it may be better for him to find another club, or when a club has a player out with injury. So I would limit it to one or two players.

"We could maintain the January transfer window but with limitations."

The European winter transfer window came into effect in the 2002-03 season under a European Commission agreement and despite the opposition of England's big clubs.

Last January, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger spoke out against the system, saying deals should be limited to two transfers per club.

"The winter transfer window is another way for agents to get more commission," said Piat.

"It is also another opportunity for players to put pressure on their club. Limiting the transfers would help prevent that happening."

Piat said there were flaws in the current transfer system.

"There is no freedom in the current system because the market decides everything," he said.

"We're in a financial bubble. Clubs won't stop bypassing the Bosman ruling as they extend the players' contracts to prevent them from leaving.

"However, to extend the contracts of the players, you have to increase their salaries and the clubs can do it because they will sell them and somebody else will pay - it's a vicious circle," Piat added.

Players suffered when clubs offered a big salary but did not honour it, he said, making them easy targets for would-be match-fixers.

"After three months they stop paying the players and by the time FIFA settle it - about two years - the clubs have already filed for bankruptcy," Piat said.

"A player does not wake up in the morning saying he's going to lose a game on purpose. Why are they led to fix matches? It's because they're not getting paid."

FIFPro tried to fight match-fixing but did not get enough help from soccer's European governing body, UEFA, he said.

"With UEFA we decided to set up a hotline for players to denounce match-fixing attempts anonymously but it seems they (UEFA) do not have a clear desire to do what needs to be done.

"(UEFA president) Michel (Platini) is clear on that, he wants to fight it, everyone agrees with him in the meeting room but afterwards obviously not everyone is with him." (Editing by Clare Fallon)

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