Premier League ponders shift of summer transfer window to align with Europe

September 4 – Premier League clubs will discuss at their September 12 meeting whether to realign the close of their summer transfer window with the rest of Europe.

This summer English clubs had to wrap up all their transfer business on August 8, the final day before the start of the Premier League season, but in Europe the transfer window ran until September 2.

Two years ago, the early summer close of the English transfer window was introduced to minimise squad disruption at the start of the season. However, with Europe’s deadline closing later, club squads have been equally disrupted by the potential of losing players to European clubs.

According to the Times, the Premier League currently has no strong opinion on the date change but will take counsel from stakeholders. In 2017, Swansea City, Watford and Crystal Palace and both the Manchester clubs opposed bringing the deadline forward. Burnley abstained. The other 14 clubs voted in favour of the change.  Liverpoool are believed to be one of the clubs who want to return to the old system.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has been an outspoken critic of the new system, not least because he spent two weeks wondering whether star players Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen would still be at the club. “I think the Premier League cannot give this advantage to the European clubs,” said Pochettino. “That is another point to talk about, to argue that we are at a disadvantage to European clubs because they have 20 days more to operate. I think that was a big mistake for the Premier League to allow that – we open the door to different clubs in Europe to try to create confusion within your squad.”

“I think after two seasons operating in this way, the Premier League realises that if Europe doesn’t change, we need to go back and start to operate in the same way they operate now. It can create a mess at clubs like us, clubs in England.”

At the weekend, Spurs (last year’s Champions League runners-up) drew 2-2 away at rivals Arsenal, leaving Pochettino’s team in 9th spot on five points. Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan (pictured) left the club for Roma, just a day after playing in the north London derby.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp echoed Pochettino’s sentiments, pointing out that the early deadline can only work if the rest of Europe’s aligns to that system. “I don’t care when it closes, but it must close at the same time,” said Klopp. “That was the idea in the first place. They spoke about finishing it before the season starts. Good idea, but only England did it. That makes no sense. It was a good idea but it didn’t work out.”

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1569033441labto1569033441ofdlr1569033441owedi1569033441sni@o1569033441fni1569033441