The summer transfer window will end before the start of the season from 2018/19 onwards after EPL Clubs agreed on a rule amendment yesterday
The rule amendment means the summer window will close at 17:00 on Thursday before the start of the season.
Next season the deadline for transfers by Premier League Clubs will be 17:00 BST on Thursday 9 August 2018, as opposed to the 21:00 deadline.
The new rule, which applies only to the acquisition of players, will be for Premier League Clubs only and has no bearing on other leagues and competitions.
Clubs will still have the ability to sell players to other leagues in which the transfer window is open, as they can now to leagues that have different transfer window dates, such as Major League Soccer.
After lengthy discussions involving all stakeholders, the Shareholders’ Meetings went to vote on the decision yesterday. The proposal was accepted and the deadline changed.
The sole purpose of having the transfer window closed before the season begins was to ensure each club had all their players completely focused on the upcoming season.
ALSO READ : Coutinho will Liverpool’s match against Man City
A number of transfers usually take place in the last two weeks and managers were fed up with players whose attention was diverted by a potential move. Rumours invloving players like Phillippe Countinho and Virgil Van Djyk refused to die down, with Liverpool having to deny the Brazilian a chance on the field.
It was the same case with Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. A move to Manchester City looked on the cards despite Arsene Wenger’s insistence that he was going nowhere. The transfer was actually given the green light in the end before it collapsed on deadline day due to the lack of a suitable replacement.
This is exactly what the Premier League Clubs hope to avoid. A number of transfers materialize close to the deadline day, whose rumours had initial cropped up months before. The players are thus put into a dilemma on their future and fail to retain their composure during the intermediate time period.
The idea looks good on paper, but then the implementation has attracted a lot of critique.
One aspect of the new rule stands out like a sore thumb: “The new rule applies only to the acquisition of players.” That means that the English clubs cannot take any move against losing out on their players.
This means that the new rule will still allow clubs from, say, La Liga or Bundesliga to try and convince players to leave their respective English club. Letting a player go after the “deadline” will leave the club in a vulnerable position as they will not be able to sign a replacement.
Of course, clubs can still stop them from leaving and point to the player’s contract. But most clubs will not want to stand in the way of a player’s wishes if a bigger club comes in, especially mid-table clubs who could use the money in the future.
Five clubs voted against the new rule and it is possible that those playing in the Champions League may have been the ones worried about the new rule. That is understandable as their players are at a higher risk of being targeted by European clubs rather than Premier League clubs.
This rule only makes sense if the deadline is the same for all leagues in Europe. And that is impossible unless every league kicks off on the same day.
English clubs are yet to establish themselves as a dominant force in Europe after their decline about 5 years ago. The rule looks contentious and may ultimately lead to the fall of the top teams in England, with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG attracting interest all round the year.