Football

EPL clubs vote for shorter transfer window from next season

The Premier League transfer window will now close before the start of the season after clubs voted to bring forward the deadline for buying players from next season, the Premier League said in a statement yesterday.

Premier League clubs backed a rule ammendment that will see the summer window end at 5pm (UK time) on the Thursday before the start of the season.

This season, the window closed on Aug 31 while the season had begun 20 days earlier.

The new date applies only to clubs in the Premier League and relates only to purchasing of players.

The vote at a meeting of top-flight clubs yesterday, which was not unanimous, followed weeks of debate about the uncertainty caused to managers and players by three weeks of transfer activity and speculation at the start of a new campaign.

The fact that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool only five days after playing for Arsenal in a 4-0 defeat at Anfield was raised as an example of the extended window's potential threat to the integrity of the league.

Not every club have been convinced of this argument, though, with several understood to be concerned about closing the window much earlier than other European leagues.

DECISION

Premier League clubs will still be able to sell players to clubs in other leagues, such as those in Europe, whose window is still open.

The decision means Premier League clubs will be unable to replace players they lose to foreign teams in the last few weeks of the window.

As a result, the 2018 decision is likely to be a trial which can be reviewed before the 2019/20 season.

Some European clubs have also expressed support for shortening the window in similar fashion, but the Premier League is so far the only league to have made the move.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton welcomed the decision.

Hughton, who signed Sporting Lisbon defender Ezequiel Schelott but missed out on Tottenham striker Vincent Janssen on deadline day, said: "That is good news. I think most managers would say the same.

"You have a hectic enough time as it is preparing for the season.

"It would make it uncomfortable going into the first week, but most of us would prefer to have it then than what we have now, going into the early weeks of the season."

The Football League, which includes the second, third and fourth tiers of English football, has not yet changed their window, but a similar change is on the agenda for their meeting of clubs on Sept 21. - WIRE SERVICES

eplTransfer Newseurope