The transfer deadline has caused confusion among clubs and fans alike in previous seasons.
The World Cup craze is finally over and all the attention has shifted back to club football, where the summer transfer frenzy is in full swing. The transfer window in Europe is producing wonders and England is no exception.
In the Premier League, Manchester United have already signed Diogo Dalot and Fred while Liverpool are having a busy time as they have secured five players so far, which includes the likes of Fabinho, Naby Keita and Alisson Becker. Other teams have also strengthened their squads significantly, however, with a catch in mind.
The Premier League will kick-off from 10th August and many clubs have voted in favour of closing the transfer window just a day before. So, when does the English transfer window close?
The official transfer window in England, which has been confirmed by FIFA, is set to close on 31st August. However, several sides have voted in favour of closing the window prior to the kick-off of the new season, primarily to prevent the players from focusing on possible moves, rather than their upcoming games. This move comes from strings of incidents in the last season, when the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Diego Costa, Virgil van Dijk, all missed a few games at the beginning of the campaign amidst transfer speculation.
This means that the top flight clubs will do business only for two months, starting from 9th June and ending on the same day in August. With just four weeks after the World Cup to do business, many Premier League clubs entered this transfer battle in July itself, with Arsenal and Liverpool being the most active so far, having signed four and five players respectively. Both the Manchester sides are yet to spend big, but are expected to go all in for specific players in the near future.
This new rule is only applicable to the Premier League and English Football League clubs while the transfer window of all the other leagues will stay open till 31st August. This means that the pursuit of England-based players by clubs from other leagues will once again continue till 31st August, which may create the same unrest as in previous campaigns. According to Sky Sports, the decision to close the transfer window early was not unanimous, as 14 teams voted in favour, while five clubs voted against and one remained absent.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore highlighted this hot topic by saying, “There was a big concern that the Premier League has been playing two or three match rounds with a degree of uncertainty between themselves.”
“We did have managers’ meetings before the season started. The managers are very strong on it. Almost all of them were in favour of shutting it earlier. The clubs just think it’s wrong that, going into the first game of the season, they could be playing against a player that, a few weeks later, could be playing for a different club,” he added.
Similarly, out of the 72 clubs from the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two, 40 voted in favour and 29 against the motion.
“After discussing the options throughout the course of the last few months, I’m pleased that the matter has been determined by clubs ahead of the start of next season,” said EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey.
“This new approach will give clubs and managers the stability they crave earlier in the season, whilst also providing the flexibility to add to their squads after the traditional deadline until the end of the month, if required,” he added.
So, the bottom line is, the transfer window for Premier League and EFL clubs will end at 5 pm on 9th August 2018, but their players can still seek transfers to other leagues whose transfer window will continue till 31st August. The move seems good as the clubs and managers can focus entirely on the new season. But, this short transfer window will ensure that we will see some exciting business happening really quickly in these last few remaining days.