A transfer window like no other as Covid continues its grip on football

Preston North End;s Deepdale ground has seen no fans this season due to Covid.

English Football League pundit Gabriel Sutton has described how clubs in League One and Two are continuing to count the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since English football resumed last June, after being postponed during the March lockdown, many fans have not been allowed to return to stadiums to watch their teams play.

In early December, some teams were allowed to have up to 2,000 spectators depending on government guidelines.

However, with the introduction of the Tier four and the third lockdown, all football is now back behind closed doors.

“I think it’s certainly affected finances of clubs, especially in League One and Two, clubs that are going to rely so heavily on gate revenue and naturally that affects clubs and what they can do.

“There have been some clubs like Salford City for example who, because they have the external backing of the class of 92, they’ve been able to bring in players of a higher calibre because the loss of gate revenue hasn’t affected them as much.

“We see clubs like Accrington Stanley in League One, with one of the best points per game records so there is inspiration to be taken from them.

“Certainly Covid has had a big impact (on the lack of transfer activity) and I think that’s the case for all clubs really.”

Despite the circumstances Championship club Preston North End haven’t been afraid to do business in one of the quietest transfer windows in football history.

Gregg Cunningham became the Lilywhites’ fourth loan signing last week in addition to Ben Whiteman who signed on a permanent transfer from Doncaster Rovers at the start of January.

Greg Cunningham’s first interview as a North End player in his second spell at Deepdale

Jimmy Atkinson, a familiar voice on Preston North End fans podcast ‘From The Finney’, is happy with the way the window is going.

“This window was a much-needed refresh in all honesty. The past few windows haven’t been majorly successful.

“This summer we only brought in one signing in Emil Riis, the January before we only brought in Scott Sinclair on a free transfer and the summer before that we brought in David Nugent on a free transfer which didn’t work out, Andre Green on loan and that had been terminated by December.

“The quality we have brought in has been good in terms of Ben Whiteman and keeper Daniel Iverson looks and real prospect and someone who has settled in really well.

“I think the window has been good so far, temper that with losing Darnell Fisher and Ben Pearson for lower amounts to Championship rivals dampens our exciting window.”