Transfer window not working in the Football League?
It is that time of year again as the days tick down until the transfer window, to use accepted parlance, slams shut.
Expect more rumour and wild speculation while football reporters in television studios wait anxiously for their shiny mobile phones lined up neatly in front of them to ring with top-grade information from sources very high up at various high-profile clubs.
It might be wrong, it might be a guilty pleasure, but I think there is something exciting and slightly intoxicating about those final few hours on transfer deadline day (even if very few big deals actually go through); the little clock ticking down in the corner of the screen, rumours of players checking into hotels in unfamiliar cities and the grainy images of so and so heading into such and such a training ground.
If football is entertainment then deadline day really does deliver. The race against the clock is almost cinematic, a football thriller, but instead of bombs going off the hero must bring in the star striker that will make the difference between silverware and an empty trophy cabinet. Whether he then gets the girl, I have no idea.
But in the Football League - and it is the 72 clubs that comprise the bottom three divisions that concern me here - the story is a bit more gritty, more Ken Loach than the polished vacuous blockbusters of Jerry Bruckheimer.
And after speaking to several people directly involved in the transfer windows (the second runs through the month of January), it seems there are several strong arguments that it can do serious damage to clubs within the Football League.
Peterborough director of football Barry Fry, a veteran wheeler and dealer in the lower divisions, neatly summarises one when he told me: "To me the inability to sell one of your assets is a restraint of trade. I think it is a disgrace."
Once the window shuts on Monday night, clubs cannot sell one of their players until it opens again on 1 January. Fry points out that this could be a disaster for a lower league club. If a side is struggling financially then selling a player can make a huge difference. As an example, the experienced and outspoken Fry argues that a few postponed games in succession as a consequence of poor weather can really strain the coffers at a lower division club.
John Coleman, manager of League Two side Accrington, agrees - and adds that the numerous lower division clubs that can only afford to have a small squad are often left to rely on the emergency loan system.
Football League clubs can have a maximum of four players under 23 and a further four players over 23 during any season on a standard loan, though no more than two of the latter can be signed from a single club. These standard loans are all done and dusted before the transfer deadline and run from window to window.
However, Football League clubs can sign players on an emergency loan for a maximum of 93 days.
An emergency loan cannot happen until seven days until after each transfer window has closed and are not allowed after the fourth Thursday in November during the first half of the season until the window reopens and after the fourth Thursday in March until the end of the campaign.
Coleman argues that without this system "it would be very, very difficult. A lot of teams would struggle". Fry is even more succinct when he says that clubs would be "knackered" without it.
Yet Coleman adds that the seven-day wait can often cause problems, while clubs are often left short for a couple of weeks over the busy Christmas period once the 93 days has expired.
There is technically no limit on how many emergency loans a club can bring in but no Football League side may field more than five on-loan players in their 16-man matchday squad. Emergency loans are assessed on a case-by-case basis, though I met with a large degree of scepticism as to whether "emergency" is the most appropriate word to describe them.
Coleman reckons the system is open to abuse in that fees can be charged for emergency loans and so clubs can effectively sort out a transfer for a player, who then moves temporarily before the deal is made permanent when the next window opens. And the Stanley boss also wonders whether the loan system has become so important that it has resulted in the permanent transfer market becoming stagnated.
But there is no doubt that if smaller clubs use the loan market - both standard and emergency - shrewdly it can pay rich dividends.
Turner brought in players from Premier League and Championship clubs - such as the influential Sherjill MacDonald from West Brom - and raised the ire of some of his opponents.
After the Bulls defeated Shrewsbury in February, then Shrews boss Gary Peters stormed "I'm not sure who we were playing. Was it Hereford or a combined team or Premier League and Championship players?"
Fry sees it differently.
"It is no good people saying he has done it with a load of players that aren't his, he has used his budget to best effect," said Fry.
The players Turner brought in were signed in August and left when the season ended so the club were not playing wages over the summer.
Coleman argues that Turner should be applauded for what he achieved on a limited budget and a serious contender for manager of the season.
There is no doubt that the loan market is crucially important for smaller clubs - and no more so when a manager loses a key player close to the deadline.
Coleman spent months fending off bids for a key player several seasons ago only to eventually lose him just before the window shut. It left him high and dry. However, as Fry points out, if a late raid comes in some clubs will have their bank manager urging them to sell.
It is this situation that saw, for example, Brentford sell striker DJ Campbell to Birmingham on deadline day 2006. Speak to Bees fans and they will tell you their prospects of promotion went with it.
"It the end it is a mad rush and leaves you very vulnerable," Fry told me.
Bristol City manager Gary Johnson is gearing up for a busy few days before the window shuts.
Championship clubs have bigger budgets and larger squads than their lower division counterparts - City paid Crewe £2.25m for Nicky Maynard in the summer - but Johnson is adamant there are familiar problems.
"The transfer window is a hindrance to everybody," said the Robins boss. "I cannot for the life of me think of one positive thing about it."
He might have a larger squad but argues that a few injuries in one position could still force him into the emergency loan market.
Johnson is expecting a "super manic" few days and cannot wait for Tuesday, when the volume of calls will normalise and everyone can start to relax.
The Robins boss, who took his team to last season's Championship play-off final, reckons that "unsettling" is the most appropriate word to describe chairmen, managers and players in the weeks before the window shuts and adds that it is a "botch job".
With people panicking, mistakes will inevitably be made but Johnson acknowledges that, much as he wants to, he will not be turning his phone off between now and 1 September.
Likeable and knowledgeable, Johnson deadpans: "You can't do that in case Wayne Rooney becomes available."
The frenetic activity has become part of the game, part of a managers' life.
It was not like this before the end of August 2002, when the window closed for the first time in England.
The deadline had been compulsory introduced by world governing body Fifa following negotiations with European Union.
Whether the Football Association or the Football League would have voluntarily introduced the system is open to debate and it seems to me that the emergency loan system is a way of ensuring that what has been thrust upon English football does not inflict terminal damage on the small yet historic and cherished clubs in the lower divisions.
Johnson would like to see the introduction of a working party to explain to Fifa what is happening on the ground; perhaps a sprinkling of managers and club officials to bring to light issues that "need to be discussed".
What Fry thinks of certain officials cannot be committed into print, though it is fair to say he is also unhappy about the lack of consultation.
There seems to be no hint, though, that the transfer window will close on a permanent basis anytime soon and so in the remarkably unlikely event that you are a Football League manager reading this you might as well heed Fry's advice.
"You have got to be shrewd and you have got to be lucky."