Tranmere’s reported interest in Stourbridge striker Jordan Archer this weekend brought a new footballing term to our attention; the seven day approach. But what is a seven day approach, why does it exist, and what does it require?
Introduction to the seven day approach
The first thing to note is that this rule relates only to non-contract players, so is only relevant in non-league football. That will be why it’s new to Tranmere fans given our relative brief time in non-league football.
The rule is meant to facilitate transfers between mostly amateur or semi-professional clubs in a fair manner, but also to crucially give the player’s current club the opportunity to convince the player to stay in light of the approach.
How to make a seven day approach
To lodge a seven day approach, the ‘buying’ club must send a physical letter to the player’s parent club to notify them of their intention to speak to the player. The approach must be sent by recorded delivery so that there can be no doubt that it has been sent and received.
The letter must also be sent by one club secretary to another, or it can be sent chairman to chairman if required (relevant for smaller clubs). It is possible for the approach to be faxed, but only if receipt of acknowledgement can be obtained. For the avoidance of doubt, many seven day approaches are still sent by recorded delivery.
A club may only approach one player in the same team at any one time. Hypothetically speaking, this means that should Stourbridge have another player Tranmere are interested in, they could not approach him while the approach for Archer is on-going.
The seven day approach process
Once the seven days have passed, the ‘buying’ club is then able to speak to the player on the eighth day. If he decides to move to the new club, he must be registered by the 21st day. If he is not, the approach is no longer valid.
If the approach expires, of if the player rejects the new club, the buying club cannot approach the same player again during the same season. So to be clear, if Tranmere do not agree terms of Archer by the 21st day, they will not be able to approach Stourbridge for the player again until next season.
If reports on Twitter are to be believed from a local Midlands journalist, then Tranmere had lodged their seven day approach by Saturday.
On that basis, you’d not expect an announcement on the player joining Rovers until next week or very late this week at the absolute earliest.