Premier League clubs vote to close transfer window before season starts

Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta joined Chelsea on deadline day of the transfer window
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Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta joined Chelsea on deadline day of the transfer window

Premier League clubs have voted to close next summer’s transfer window before the 2018-19 season starts.

Managers have complained that signing players once the season is under way causes disruption to their squads and preparations.

From next season, the window will close at 17:00 BST on the Thursday before the Premier League campaign begins.

The vote was not unanimous and clubs will still be able to sell players until the end of the normal window.

Deal of the day

Fourteen Premier League clubs voted in favour of the amendment, which was the minimum total needed for the plans to be approved.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Watford, Swansea and Crystal Palace voted against the proposal while Burnley abstained.

The window across Europe runs until 31 August.

The Premier League’s move means while clubs will be able to sell until that date, buying activity will cease on 9 August for the 2018-19 season.

READ: Arsene Wenger opens lid on Sanchez, Ozil, Carzola, Ox

European leagues will still be able to buy and sell until 31 August, while the Football League’s window also remains unaltered.

Football League bosses have indicated they could follow the Premier League’s move but require further dialogue with stakeholders before a decision is made.

The early finish will not mean the Premier League’s transfer window is shorter as it will start earlier and be 12 weeks long, in line with FIFA rules.

Next summer is slightly different from normal, with the 2018-19 season following the Fifa World Cup in Russia, which finishes on 15 July.

Premier League clubs can still do business during the tournament, but will now have only 25 days after its conclusion in which to complete signings.

In August, Tottenham striker Harry Kane said closing the window early would allow players to concentrate.

Arsene Wenger had to deal with keeping Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal on trasnfer deadline day

His views were echoed on Friday by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who stated players need “clarity”.

“It’s important that we close all that stuff before the championship starts,” said Wenger.

“Players have no clarity. Are they in? Are they out? Will they be tapped up on the afternoon of a game? It’s not the way to work.”

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson also said the window should be closed early when he was asked about Barcelona’s bids for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho.

Speaking before Thursday’s announcement, Everton manager Ronald Koeman said he hoped the rest of Europe would follow the move.

“If we do it in the Premier League and the rest of Europe don’t do this, still we have a problem,” said Koeman.

“The best is before starting the competitions, stop the transfer window because it’s very silly.”

Jose Mourinho is in support of having the transfer window concluded before season start

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho stressed the fact European clubs would have a wider opportunity to do business would not be a disadvantage for English clubs.

“The risk is minimal and even those powerful clubs have to know if we can’t buy players we’re not going to sell,” said Mourinho.
Reaction from Europe

Giuseppe Marotta, the director general of Italian champions Juventus, backed the decision by Premier League clubs and said he wants Serie A to follow suit.

He said it was “a decision that I had been waiting for,” while Roma sporting director Monchi also said the move was a “right and logical decision”.

“The Premier League’s decision to end the transfer window early is wise. Now we have to extend the discussion to a European level,” Marotta said.

“It’s the right choice. Having such a long transfer window creates turmoil, a well-run club succeeds by planning out a transfer campaign.

“The transfer market has to be limited, you can’t have players moving when the leagues have already started.”