Alan Pattullo: Return of the transfer request is throwback to another era

Aberdeen's Scott McKenna. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Aberdeen's Scott McKenna. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
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This has been a good week for those who feared the dear old transfer request had become obsolete.

It was a common enough practice in the pre-Bosman era, when there were always miffed players slamming them down on desks in front of managers. Even Roy Race submitted one to force through his transfer to Walford Town from Melchester Rovers. But its day seemed to have passed now players hold most of the cards. If they want to go, they tend to go.

It therefore seemed quaint to learn Scott McKenna had submitted a transfer request, although that was not Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes’ view. Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha handed one in shortly afterwards to try to force a move to Everton.

They did appear slightly odd, futile steps. As the word “request” suggests, such pleas can be turned down, as happened in both these cases.

All they threaten to do is turn supporters against the player.