August 9 – English Premier League chief Richard Scudamore admits the new transfer window deadline has not solved all the problems of the past and will be reviewed in September.
While most European leagues are sticking to an end of August deadline, Premier League clubs narrowly voted last year to close the English domestic window before the season starts – over three weeks sooner than usual – so that every club begins on a level playing field.
In an extremely close ballot that required a two-thirds majority to be adopted, England’s elite teams chose to stop one another being able to sign players after the kick-off of the new campaign. Fourteen of the 20 clubs backed the radical proposal, seeing off opposition from both Manchester clubs, United and City.
With England’s window closing at 5pm today, Scudamore told Sky he had received mixed feedback.
“As with all these things, it’s only when it comes upon people – but again it wasn’t a unanimous decision to do it, so there’s bound to be some dissent still around,” said Scudamore. “But it was done for the reasons the clubs wanted to do it, for the purposes of not having a situation where clubs are threatened with players leaving to go to other Premier League clubs.
“That, they thought, transcended all the other challenges. It is going to be challenging, particularly for the promoted clubs, who effectively have two-and-a-half weeks less. But the decision has been made and we’ll analyse it in September when it’s all over.”
“I speak to clubs who say: ‘This is fantastic, we knew what the deadline was and we’ve worked to that.’ But there are other clubs who say they haven’t got time and wish we hadn’t decided to do it.”
Scudamore, who will stand down at the end of the year after nearly 20 years in the role, also said he was confident the Premier League would be ready to adopt the video assistant referee system in time for the 2019/2020 season.
“We will be doing far more testing this year and we will be ready to go,” he added. “Hopefully it will give the clubs, I think, a much easier decision to say ‘yes’ for next season.”
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