Premier League transfer window changes a gamble that should pay off

By Michael Cage, Fri 08 September 2017 19:59

Premier League transfer window changes a gamble that should pay off 

The news that Premier League clubs have voted to close next summer's transfer window before the 2018/19 season starts could be a blow to Manchester City, but only if the rest of Europe doesn't follow suit.

From next season, the window will close at 17:00 BST on the Thursday before the Premier League campaign begins.

The vote was not unanimous and clubs will still be able to sell players until August 31.

The move means buying activity for Premier League clubs will end on August 9 for the 2018/19 season, but European clubs will still be able to buy and sell until the end of the month.

The change comes after a summer of uncertainty over player moves, including City's ultimately unsuccessful pursuit of Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez.

While European teams appear to have effectively been handed a no deposit free spins bonus to unsettle Premier League players next summer, the situation doesn't appear to be that cut-and-dried.

The UEFA president, Alexander Ceferin, is firmly behind the idea of a unified approach to closing the window across Europe, ensuring no teams have an unfair advantage when it comes to buying players.

In an interview with German broadcasters ARD, Ceferin said: "Yes, I think that it is open (the transfer window) for too long.

"It is strange that you play for one club when the season starts and then that you can simply play for another one. That is not good for the competition.

"We are in serious discussions over shortening the transfer window and I think that it is no bad idea to close the window at the end of July."

City boss Pep Guardiola urged UEFA to reform the transfer window this summer, saying that it should be closed across Europe before the season starts.

"Unfortunately, the market finishes on August 31 - I think that's a huge mistake from UEFA," he said.

"I think the market should finish when we start the season, it's too long, too large. We are playing here with guys who maybe will not continue, or with players who are coming but are not here.

"We are playing in a situation where we don't know exactly what is going to happen for the rest of the season, so we miss time - for all the managers.

"Hopefully in the future UEFA can think about that and the deadline will be the day we start the competition."

The changes to the set-up certainly disadvantage Premier League clubs at this stage but, with Germany's Bundesliga understood to want the transfer window to close before its season starts, it must surely be just a matter of time before the rest of Europe falls into line.

The vote by the Premier League clubs represents something of a gamble at the moment, but it's one that should pay off in the long run.