It might be the start of a new era in England, as a majority of English clubs have voted to close next summer’s transfer window before the start of the 2018-19 season. The vote was not unanimous but 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs have decided to vote in favour of the change, which was enough to for the plans to get approved.
Five clubs, however, have voted against the plans, a list which includes, two of the Manchester heavyweights, Watford, Crystal Palace and Swansea, while Burney abstained from the polls.
Now the big question is: could this be the change we all needed in the transfer market window?
For England, it seems to be the start of a new era and for good reasons as well. The FA’s decision to close the transfer market before the start of the new season was highly acknowledged by a number of players, coaches and club presidents alike.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has acknowledged this change, stating that his players need ‘clarity’ before the start of the new season.
“It’s important that we close all that stuff before the championship starts,” said Wenger. “Players have no clarity. Are they in? Are they out? Will they be tapped up on the afternoon of a game? It’s not the way to work.”
And we have to agree with him as well. It’s important for clubs to have its players fully focused before the start of the season. The players often fringing about their futures, even after the season has kicked off, has been a problem for years now and it could very well be resolved, thanks to Premier League’s new change in rules.
It could potentially increase the chance of relatively small clubs to keep a hold of their star players. Liverpool, for example, had to work really hard in order to keep Philipe Coutinho at the club, despite Barcelona’s heavy interest in the Brazilian. Things might have been settled a lot earlier had it not been for the late closure of the transfer market window.
In fact, Manchester United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, spoke in light of this Coutinho transfer saga, saying that the window should be closed earlier when asked about Barcelona’s bids for Coutinho.
Praises also came from Serie A, as director general of Juventus, Giuseppe Marotta said, “It’s the right choice. Having such a long transfer window creates turmoil, a well-run club succeeds by planning out a transfer campaign. The transfer market has to be limited, you can’t have players moving when the leagues have already started.
“The Premier League’s decision to end the transfer window early is wise. Now we have to extend the discussion to a European level.” – Marotta said.
If we take Marotta’s words wisely, he totally makes sense as it’s also important for the rule to be approved throughout Europe and not just in England. Everton boss Ronald Koeman was quick to realize it.
“If we do it in the Premier League and the rest of Europe don’t do this, still we have a problem,” said Koeman. “The best is before starting the competitions, stop the transfer window because it’s very silly.”
The Premier League clubs can buy players up until the last Thursday before the league kicks off. After that period, the clubs will still be able to actively sell their players to other European clubs. This can turn into a loophole, which clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid or PSG will take full advantage of. They may see this as an opportunity to gain some kind of competitive edge, given the fact that they can buy Premier League stars for about three weeks.
Although the English clubs should be confident of holding onto their star players – given their financial firepower over their European counterparts. Liverpool(Coutinho) and Arsenal (Alexis Sanchez) were the prime examples this summer.
However, it’s still very important for other top European leagues to embrace the idea of an early closure of the transfer window. The Bundesliga might evolve this method sooner than any other leagues, as the German league is known for its exposure in implementing new rules and methods for the betterment of the game.
Most German clubs, including two of the heavyweights in Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, generally complete their transfer activity way before the deadline day. Therefore, there’s no reason as to why they shouldn’t vote for the plans to be approved in the Bundesliga. In fact, Borussia Dortmund might have been able to keep a hold of their French sensation Ousmane Dembele, had it not been for a late closure of the transfer market.
All things considered, it seems to be the right path to a more competitive game of football and we should be hopeful that more and more top European leagues do embrace the idea of an early end to the transfer market window in the future.
[Note: All the excerpts were taken from BBC’s article about the change in rules]
Anas Ali Molla
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