The decision 14 to five with one abstention to close the transfer window at 5pm the Thursday before the start of the season, rather than 31st August (or a date…

The decision 14 to five with one abstention to close the transfer window at 5pm the Thursday before the start of the season, rather than 31st August (or a date around them based on weekends etc). could lead to the clubs being disadvantaged..

On the face of it, it will deliver the desired effect of having competition integrity for the Premier League. It is to close the squad selection before the competition starts. It would also avoid the extreme example that the same player could play against the same side in two consecutive weeks, having been transferred between the opposition during the week. If as has been suggested that the other major European leagues don’t follow suit, this may have an impact on the ability of English teams to compete in Europe. While the English clubs won’t be able to sign players, they would be able to sell players, and may be open to losing top players after their own deadline, if an acceptable offer comes in for one of their players. They would then be unable to replace them. While the Premier League clubs are financially strong enough to reject most offers, they will always be open to a mega bid from the major powers like Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG. And therein lies the issue. Especially the top clubs, who have players that these clubs would be interested in.

There is some discord even within the teams that compete in Europe regularly, with Manchester City and Manchester United being amongst the teams that voted against it.

When you consider that the Champions League and Europa League draw took place on 24th – 25th August (a full 6 days before the transfer deadline day), teams in the same pool, would be able to make offers for players in the same pool, which could potentially have unsettle a player, this weakening the team, without strengthening themselves.

The other issue that may be a concern, would be if the movement between other clubs in the  Europe freed up a player that would be wanted, the clubs in England would be out of the loop for their signature. You only have to look at Real Madrid. If they had done the business that they wanted, it may have freed up Gareth Bale (a player coveted by most PL clubs), and then the clubs wouldn’t be able to be in for him.

I would suggest a couple of amendments to make the competitions fair, which would potentially alleviate the issues that the PL have. They could impose a transfer deadline for transfers between PL clubs, thus preventing the integrity of the competition. They could allow non PL transfers to continue. Also, it may be worth UEFA bringing in the transfer deadline to be the evening before the Champions and Europa League draws, thus improving the integrity of their competition, though players can only play for one club in the European competition each season.

I still think that the decision was rushed through, and needed more thought. However, if the other European leagues followed suit, it may lead to greater integrity across the board. When you look at the activity this year, most clubs have done their dealings earlier rather than later so the change won’t have a great effect on them, with the exception of a last minute gem becoming available. Only time will tell if the decision made will be beneficial to the PL clubs.



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