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10SPRING 2010The January transfer window turned out to be nothing more than a damp squib with the expected late rush of transfers simply not materialising.Overall spending was vastly reduced, with Premiership clubs spent a total of £44.8 million during the January period, less than 25% of the £190.5 million spent in the previous year's winter transfer window. Over one quarter of this amount is attributed to the sum that Manchester United have agreed to pay for Chris Smalling of Fulham- a fee that could rise to £12 million. Factors including the global recession, a weak pound against the Euro and a lack of budget all contributed to one of the quietest trading periods for some time. Whilst in general the UK slowly exits the recessionary period, the fear that football may be entering into such a phase was not allayed by the slide into administration of Crystal Palace and then Portsmouth FC.Pompey peril Amongst the goalkeepers 'on the move', the attention was primarily focused upon beleaguered Premier League outfit Portsmouth FC, who during the window won a 7 day stay of execution from a winding-up order at the High Court. In the early days of the window it appeared likely that David James would be leaving Fratton Park in an attempt to secure his plane ticket to South Africa for the World Cup, with Stoke City appearing his likely destination. Simultaneously, James' Pompey team-mate Asmir Begovic was the subject of an approach from Spurs. In an amazing and acrimonious twist, Stoke and Pompey failed to agree the finer terms of the transaction to take James to the Britannia Stadium, but Tony Pulis was quick to find a replacement....nipping in with a £3.25 million bid to hijack Spurs move for Begovich whom had agreed terms and undertaken a medical with the North London club! James' eagerness to depart Fratton Park was fuelled by a contractual provision that entitled him to a contract extension upon the completion of a certain number of games, and which given Pompey's well documented financial problems, could potentially have left him unable to play the final games of the season. As for Spurs, despite several late forays into the deadline day market, bids for Watford's Scott Loach and an approach for Glasgow Rangers' Allan McGregor failed to materialise.Elsewhere in the Premier League, newly appointed Burnley manager, Brian Laws, gave Nicky Weaver a return to the top flight following a successful spell in the SPL with Dundee United. Another keeper with SPL experience, Tony Warner negotiated an early release from moveAsmir Begovic / Image courtesy of Stoke City FCOn the

SPRING 201011his contract with Hull City FC on transfer deadline day and in time to secure his status as a Free Agent. Wigan Athletic strengthened their goalkeeping department in the light of Richard Kingson absence with Ghana at the African Cup of Nations, by recruiting Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovi from Sporting Lisbon.On loanDepartures on loan from Premiership clubs included Fulham's David Stockdale who joined Championship strugglers Plymouth Argyle and Karl Ikeme who extended his loan from Wolves with Queens Park Rangers. Similarly, Arsenal allowed Pole Wojciech Szczesny to remain with Brentford until the end of the season, Man Utd's Tom Heaton will hope to help struggling Wycombe Wanderers avoid relegation from League 1, whilst Spurs have aided Shrewsbury's promotion push from League 2 by offering the Shropshire outfit the services of England under 20 keeper David Button. In the Championship there was little movement despite the media linking Lee Grant with a reunion with former manager Brian Laws at Burnley and Keiren Westwood with a move to Sunderland. Swansea City however rewarded promising Wales Under 21 keeper David Cornell with a new 3 year contract, whilst across the Severn Bridge the relationship between Bristol City and Adriano Basso was less harmonious. The Brazilian was placed on the transfer list by manager Gary Johnson and having failed to move looks set to see out the remainder of his contract. This prompted the Robins to bring in former Yeovil and Crewe stopper Steve Collis on a short term contract until the end of the season, and to allow former Villa keeper Stephen Henderson to join Aldershot on an initial month's loan. With Paddy Kenny still suspended following his failed drugs test, Sheffield United looked to strengthen by bringing in Mihkel Aksalu from FC Talinn of Estonia, and were forced back into the marketplace to sign Steve Simonsen from Stoke, when Blackburn recalled Mark Bunn following Paul Robinson's calf injury. Having stumbled into administration Crystal Palace also agreed to extend the loan of Daryl Flahavan, to Oldham Athletic, whilst another club familiar with administration, Southampton FC, allowed Michael Poke to remain at Torquay United.In League 2, Frank Fielding is hoping he can contribute to his Rochdale side making history by winning promotion from the basement division for the first time in 35 years (the longest unbroken stint in League 2 !)-before rejoining parent club Blackburn Rovers. Fellow promotion chasers AFC Bournemouth have rewarded keeper Shwan Jalal with a 2 year contract extension. Paul Peschisolido has returned to former club Birmingham City to secure the services of Artur Krysiak on loan for his Burton Albion side, whilst fellow midlanders Northampton Town attracted Jason Steele to the Sixfields stadium in a similar short term capacity from M'Boro. Passing in the opposite direction, Notts Forest stopper Shane Redmond faced the long and daunting trip to Darlington where relegation from the Football League seems inevitable.ScotlandOnto the SPL, where in early march Celtic confirmed that they were in talks with Polish international Artur Boruc to extend his contract at Parkhead.Departing Parkhead, keeper Mark Brown signed for Hibernian on a two and a half year deal , which prompted the club to place Yves Ma-Kalambay, whose contract expires at the end of the season, on the transfer list. Two departures on a short term basis from Edinburgh saw Mark Ridgers join East Fife on loan from Hearts and Thomas Flynn make the same move to Alloa from Hibernian.Flying into the SPL from overseas, Dusan Pernis joined Dundee United on a free transfer from MSK Zilina. Also in the SPL, Everton's on loan goalkeeper, John Ruddy, saw his fine form rewarded with an extension to his loan deal with Motherwell until the end of the season. Title chasing Rangers allowed George Ingliss to sign for Hamilton Accies, whom also snapped up Brian Potter, whilst Jamie Barclay joined East Stirling from SPL outfit Falkirk.Daryl Flahavan / Image courtesy of Oldham Athletic FCShwan Jalal / Image courtesy of Mick Cunningham PhotographyJohn Ruddy / Image courtesy of EvertonFC.com