Premier League to close transfer window early

Premier League to close transfer window early

Premier League clubs have voted to shut next summer’s transfer window on 9 August, two days before the new season kicks off.

The vote took place after managers complained about transfer uncertainty following their teams into the season.

In an interview with Sky Sports News, Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said, “The managers are very strong on it. Almost all of them were in favour of shutting it earlier.”

Scudamore confirmed the vote was not unanimous - 14 voted in favour, 5 against and one abstained - but “nobody was pathologically against it."

Some concern has been raised over the nature of the change. The new date will mean Premier League clubs are no longer able to buy players from 9 August, but players will still be able to leave for other leagues. 

For now, the transfer windows for Europe’s four other major leagues — Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A, and France’s Ligue 1 — will remain open until 31 August, 2018, as usual. However, Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta has suggested Serie A may soon make a similar change. 

Marotta has called the transfer window “exhausting” and “a circus.” He also claims all 20 clubs in the Italian league are prepared to move the window shut date back to 31 July.

Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger has recently been vocally critical of the Premier League windows. He has argued against abandoning the midseason window. 

Of the long summer window, he said, “Every single manager in the league would agree that it's time to kick that out before the season starts and not continue to have players in the dressing room who are half out and half in.”

The decision comes at the end of a chaotic transfer window for the Premier League which saw a number of high-profile players remain unsettled three weeks into the season. Among those, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, and Chelsea’s Diego Costa have all remained with their clubs, with reintegration efforts now underway.