CHRIS POWELL says he has every sympathy with Roberto Martinez and several other managerial rivals unwittingly caught up in the cross-fire in the lead-up to the closure of the transfer window.
Martinez took centre stage after Everton’s midweek Capital One Cup game at Barnsley, criticising what he perceives as the unfairness of the window being open when a season gets underway – when many leading players become unsettled in the process.
In his case, he was referring to John Stones, who handed in a transfer request the day before the game at Oakwell amid persistent interest from Chelsea.
Others such as Middlesbrough winger Albert Adomah and Norwich City’s Lewis Grabban have also come under the microscope in their quest to pursue moves.
Huddersfield Town have their own star man who has been the subject of considerable interest in the shape of Jacob Butterfield, with two failed bids from Derby County.
Town are desperate to keep Butterfield ahead of the closure of the window at 6pm on Tuesday, with Powell at least thankful that his key midfielder has not been affected by the Rams’ interest.
Powell said: “With the possibility of Stones moving for such an amount of money, it can be quite unsettling for a football club, the player and supporters.
“We are going through it to an extent ourselves, but not that big a scale (with Butterfield).
“It’s never easy. Players are only human and understand how it works.
“It can affect some more than others and it hurts teams and their preparations.”
He added: “My initial reaction is that the window is unfair.
“But the more I think about it, this thing would kind of happen anyway and if it the window stops on the first of August before a season starts, which is what a lot of people are saying, you are still going to lose players in the build-up.
“I don’t agree with potentially after four or five games in, actually losing a key player who you can build your team around.
“From that point of view, I think it should be shut. But you are going to lose players anyway and I don’t think there’s ever a good time.”