Premier League clubs vote to close transfer window before season starts

Chief Executive of Premier League Richard Scudamore speaks to the media

With it, went endless rumors and speculation.

It was the same case with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez.

It's official. The English Premier League has changed. That is because all twenty teams now have set rosters and can no longer conduct transactions.

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

The window will now close at 5pm on the date.

There are pros and cons to this decision, but the positives outweigh the negatives.

However, it is hoped that the adjustment will stop the sort of damaging uncertainty that cast a real shadow over the first three weeks of the season with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Virgil van Dijk, Danny Drinkwater and Gylfi Sigurdsson all the subject of high-profile domestic transfer wrangles.

In recent years in particular the final weeks of the transfer window have been feverish, with agents demanding increasingly obscene sums for their players, while uncertainty over incomings and outgoings distracted from the excitement of the first games.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool just five days after playing for Arsenal at Anfield, a fact that was raised as an example of the extended window's potential threat to the integrity of the league. It was pretty clear he was already a Liverpool player. But most clubs will not want to stand in the way of a player's wishes if a bigger club comes in, especially mid-table clubs who could use the money in the future. "You have a hectic enough time as it is preparing for the season". "That said, I'm absolutely in favour of this initiative".

"It's all well and good clubs saying they won't be selling a player, but it doesn't help at all".

One aspect of the new rule stands out like a sore thumb: "The new rule applies only to the acquisition of players". Coutinho is staying put but he is now behind his teammates in terms of fitness and will not be available to play right away.

For Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore, shifting the transfer window cutoff point helps to protect the integrity of the competition.

"Europe's other major leagues €" Spain's Liga, Italy's Serie A, the German Bundesliga and France's Ligue 1 €" now face a decision about whether to fall into line with England.

Time will tell how this works out. The current deadline also runs smack up against the Federation Internationale de Football Association worldwide dates as teams finalize preparations for crucial matches such as World Cup and European Championship qualifiers.



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