The English Premier League’s 20 clubs could vote to abolish the current early summer transfer window closure. Since it was installed in the summer of 2018, clubs around the Premier League have voiced their frustrations with the window closing prior to the league’s first match in mid-August.
Transfer windows around Europe have remained open until the end of August, allowing Premier League players to depart clubs and not be adequately replaced. Premier League clubs will meet on 12 September to discuss and vote to end the transfer window policy. There is a good chance the window will revert back to the previous end of August closure.
Why was the transfer window close date changed?
In 2018, the closing date of the transfer window in the Premier League was moved, forcing all 20 teams to finish their transfer purchases prior to the first match of the season.
The idea behind the move was twofold. Teams would be forced to do their dealings early and it would prevent clubs from overreacting to poor starts to the season. The latter point would also stop teams from panic purchases that would see them spend even more money than in previous seasons.
According to the BBC, Premier League clubs believed an early closure would also “minimise squad disruptions”.
Just 11 clubs are needed to vote to amend the transfer window for it to be adjusted for next season. The BBC has also stated clubs such as Liverpool, who were in favour of an early closure, now want to return to the “old system”. It looks likely that the Premier League will revert back to the previous model and once again align itself with the European transfer closure date. But is it a good idea?
The early transfer closure is a good thing
The early transfer closure date is a good thing. It forces clubs to get their transfer work done early and have a squad ready to play before the season kicks off.
Allowing teams to continue to buy and loan in players during the first three weeks of the season means clubs panic buy. The early closure means clubs have to be more responsible.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has been against the early transfer window due to the contract saga of Christian Eriksen. Again, the contract issues with Eriksen show poor management from Spurs. They had all summer to get a new deal done, sign a new player, and/or sell Eriksen. In the end, they did none of the three. Now, his contract will expire in the summer of 2020.
Premier League clubs need to be more responsible in the transfer market and the early closure is a way to do this.
The real solution to the problem
The biggest problem with the Premier League is its early start date. Liverpool kicked off the Premier League season against Norwich City on 9 August. The league’s first game came just weeks after the UEFA Nations League, Copa America, Gold Cup, and Africa Cup of Nations ended.
The Premier League begins far too soon and this season we have already seen players suffer injuries due to playing too much football year-round. Next summer won’t be any different as the Euro 2020 tournament will take place.
A solution can be found with the transfer window by moving the start of the Premier League season back one, two, or weeks. Serie A was the last of the five big leagues to start their season, which occurred on 25 August. What is the harm in Premier League teams beginning the season at the very end of the month?
Players would have more time to get fit and rest from the previous season and international tournaments. The transfer window can also be closed during the final week of August just before the games kick-off. This allows teams to sign further players until the league kicks off.
However, rather than move the season’s start back, it looks more likely the transfer window will just revert back to the end of August/beginning of September. It will also once again usher in the issues that the early closure was created to sort out.