Reflections on the transfer window with Chris Casper, Eddy Jennings and Stuart Webber
Members of Association of Sporting Directors were joined by Chris Casper (Salford City FC), Eddy Jennings (Fleetwood Town FC), and Stuart Webber (Norwich City FC), who reflected and discussed their approaches to a very unique summer transfer window and how each dealt with their challenges.
The conversation covered a breadth of topics beyond of the scope of this article to share, however key areas included:
- Timing of transfers in the window
- Importance of internal communication with the Head Coach
- The impact of the salary cap
- Integrating and developing young players
- Transitioning the squad between seasons
Chris opened up outlining the importance of internal communication during this window. With the salary cap introduced, Chris explained it was up to the club to be as proactive and aggressive to complete transfers early in the window. The idea behind this was to get players settled before the start of pre-season. Chris outlined some of the specific impacts of the salary cap on their operation and the opportunity this provided to promote and develop young players.
Eddy shared how Fleetwood’s plan and how this evolved during the window, with some of their key signings being made close to the end of the window. He later mentions how this worked to their favour as it was an opportunity for young players to step up to a role within the first team squad in preparation for the season. With this and a number of contributing factors, Eddy outlined Fleetwood’s plans and preparations for push for promotion again this season.
Finally, Stuart talks about their completely different approach to the window as Norwich adjusted to relegation from the Premier League. Stuart highlighted the club wanted to take this as an opportunity to transition the squad, release players and bringing in new signings with the aim of gaining promotion at the first attempt, despite this being a very challenging proposition for other clubs in the past. Stuart mentioned the importance of maintaining strong relationships in the game, including with those who had already experienced the challenges he faced, alongside remaining fresh and positive.
Following these introductions, the discussion continued with a fascinating Q&A with members and all three speakers.
The ASD aims to support sporting directors in professional football. These conversations allow members to connect, share practice, develop ideas and innovate. The full conversation is available to ASD members. We are thankful to Chris Casper, Eddy Jennings and Stuart Webber for sharing their experiences as well as Dan Parnell for hosting this discussion.
Author: Joe Rigg.
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