According to reports in England, the Premier League will raise the possibility of returning to the old transfer window structure at its next executive meeting next week.
Only two years ago, the Premier League decided to close its summer transfer window prior to the start of the season, allowing teams to finalize rosters before playing matches. In theory, the practice made perfect sense and the decision was praised by many. However, the rest of Europe did not follow suit, and the result left Premier League clubs with nearly a month where players could depart for teams in La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, and other European clubs leaving the Premier League side unable to replace them.
Reports by both The Times and the BBC have claimed that the issue will be raised at the meeting of Premier League chairmen and chief executives on September 12. The group could decide to vote on the issue at that meeting, or decide to table the discussion until the next meeting in November. A simple majority of 11 club votes would be needed to change the window back to its old structure.
This summer, the Premier League transfer window closed on August 8, while the rest of Europe had until September 2 to complete deals.
Before the change two years ago, Premier League managers were highly vocal about the need to move the transfer window to before the season so clubs aren’t doing business while matches were ongoing. However, with the new structure, managers again went public to complain about the disadvantage Premier League clubs found themselves facing. Mauricio Pochettino was the most vocal of late thanks to uncertainty surrounding Christian Eriksen, who was heavily linked to a move away from Tottenham with Spurs left powerless to replace him in the event he left.
“I think the Premier League cannot give this advantage to the European clubs,” Pochettino said the day after the Premier League window closed. “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 realizes that if Europe doesn’t change, we need to go back and start to operate in the same way they operate now.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp agreed, saying last month, “I don’t care when it closes, but it must close at the same time,” he recently said. “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.”
According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds will back changing the window to the old structure at the upcoming meeting, despite being one of the clubs to heavily support the change two years ago. In addition, the report states that Manchester United and Manchester City will also back a change to the old format.