In a revolutionary decision, Premier League clubs voted to close the summer transfer window before the season begins. It is a landmark step as it will see the English league close opportunities to recruit talent three weeks earlier than normal. Many around the football world expect this to be a catalyst for other top leagues in Europe to follow suit.
The decision was taken after a referendum of all the Premier clubs teams on 7th September. The result was an overwhelming majority in favor of the move. It is reported that 14 clubs voted ‘yes’ while 5 were against the decision and 1 abstained.
This move would see the transfer window close on the Thursday before the season begins. The rule will take effect from the 2018-19 season onwards. The first ever transfer deadline under the new regulation will close on the 9th August 2018 at 5 PM local time.
The important thing to remember is that it is only the English Window will close and the rest of Europe will continue as before. This means that while PL clubs would not able to buy players, other leagues can continue to do so until their deadline. Also, English clubs will be allowed to sell players to their foreign counterparts even after their domestic deadline is over.
A drastic change like this is surely going to have huge effects. The obvious question on everyone’s minds remains whether it is the right decision or not. It will surely be something that will change the way transfer window works drastically. The methods with which clubs operate in the market are certain to be different with this massive development.
To understand the benefits of the move, its crucial to comprehend the reason behind it. Off late, it’s been a source of great frustration for managers that despite the season having started, squads are still unsettled. There are either still players who want to move out or the club’s own business in signing players isn’t finished. It creates a less than ideal situation for coaches who obviously prefer to know who is going to be with them and who will not.
The current transfer window was a prime example of such situations. The future of players like Alexis Sanchez, Giffi Siggurson, Virgin Van Djik, Philip Coutinho was sorted well past after the start of the season. This creates an unpleasant dilemma for the managers where they cannot use their star players in initial matches and their tactical planning for the season remains in major doubt.
With the transfer window closing early, it could largely prevent such situations. Players and coaches will know right from first game whether they are staying or not. This scenario allows everyone to focus on the job at hand without any distraction.
Sadly the possible impact of the move doesn’t stop at the positives. The possibility of it backfiring on English clubs is high. As the decision can’t stop PL clubs from selling players to foreign clubs, the consequences could be dire for the league. Foreign clubs could easily poach a player from an English side, who won’t have time to replace him.
Another probable difficulty to hit English clubs is a weaker position in acquiring talent from foreign teams. In a circumstance where an English club and another European club is interested in a player, the English team will be at a huge disadvantage. This is due to the simple fact of them having lesser time to negotiate a deal and hence not being able to stretch negotiations for a longer time. English clubs will be forced to pay a high price or lose out on the player. This means that the move could lead to very few top Europeans talents ending up in the Premier League.
In the end, it can be said that it is certainly a step in the right decision. If it turns out to be the start of a movement of other European leagues doing the same, it is a step which will be very healthy for the game. If no other league does the same, the English league and clubs could well have scored an own goal.