Deadline day the day before the season begins? Yes please.
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Reports on Monday stated that next month the Premier League will discuss how to change the rules for the 2018-19 summer transfer window, with an end to the window shutting two weeks into the new season proposed.
It is believed that will be the main proposal at the shareholders meeting as 14 of the 20 PL clubs would have to vote in favor of the notion for it to become a reality. It is believed the majority of Premier League clubs would like to have the transfer window end before the season begins.
For the Premier League, what have they got to lose by trying this?
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The main issue is that the transfer windows across the rest of Europe will not fall in line with their new date, and with leagues in Germany, Spain and Italy historically starting later than the PL, those clubs may have an advantage when it comes to buying players until the end of August with PL clubs having their hands tied if a player from Spain, Italy or elsewhere suddenly becomes available. That’s tricky but then it would force PL clubs to get their business done early and deal with it, even if they lose a player to a club elsewhere in Europe.
It is proposed that the transfer window closing before the 2018-19 season begins would only limit the buying or loaning of players, while PL players can still be sold to other leagues in England and abroad. That’s the biggest issue but it’s avoidable if they club decides it is not selling at any price. Of course, this situation gets trickier with release clauses, but maybe we will just see less of these agreed to in players’ contracts?
With the situations regarding Gylfi Sigurdsson, Virgil Van Dijk, Philippe Coutinho, Ross Barkley, Alexis Sanchez and Diego Costa rumbling on, we’ve been without some of the PL’s top stars to start the season. Aside from the obvious reason of wanting them out on the pitch to increase the level of play, their clubs haven’t got settled squads when the action kicks off and it creates a huge amount of uncertainty and negativity.
No changes to the January transfer window, which will run from Jan. 1 until Jan. 31, are proposed, but having the window shut at the start of the season makes sense. It is logic and enables squads to have their team set in place for the entire season rather than scrambling in the final weeks of the window, when prices are at a premium, to find replacements for their star player who has decided he wants to move to a bigger club a la Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool to Barcelona.
Having deadline day on the Thursday before a season begins would create a mega event where fans would throw parties to not only celebrate late signings ahead of the season but also celebrate the start of the year. Think about how you and other fans of your team were feeling last week before the 2017-18 campaign kicked off. Optimism was in the air. The birds were chirping delightfully. The sun was shinning brighter. Crystal Palace were going to finish in the top six.
If you had that feeling coupled with the safety of knowing your squad kicking off the season would be in place until at least Jan. 1, it would be a lot more enjoyable for fans, players, managers, clubs, literally everyone involved.
Of course there will be teething problems along the way, but it’s easy to see why most PL clubs are behind trying something different when it comes to the transfer window. Having multiple star players sitting on the sidelines for the opening two weeks of the season with minor injuries or “not in the right frame of mind” to play isn’t a good look and looks like be the final straw.
Something has to change and this is the most logical option for the Premier League, but finding a way to integrate all of Europe’s top leagues into one date would still be the best option and a very tricky one to negotiate.