EFL join PL in discussing early transfer window closure

Ian Watson

The English Football League has announced its clubs will discuss closing the summer transfer window before the start of the season, following reports Premier League clubs are pushing for the same decision.

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, Swansea’s Paul Clement and West Brom’s Tony Pulis are among those who have gone on record recently expressing frustration at transfer business lingering well into the new campaign, and it is understood the matter will be raised at next month’s shareholders’ board meeting.

Now, the EFL has gone a step further, reiterating its own preference for closing the window before the big kick-off and confirming its members will soon get the chance to debate changes.

An EFL Spokesman said: “The EFL Board and its clubs have previously expressed the opinion that closing the summer transfer window in advance of the season commencing would be an improvement on the current position.

“On this basis we will be tabling the matter for discussion with clubs in September. It will be important that all the consequences of such a decision are fully considered, as the requirements of our clubs are different to those in Europe’s top flight leagues.”

One obvious grey area is the fact that the Football League season typically begins a week earlier than its Premier League counterpart. The notion of excluding deals with top-flight clubs before they have finalised their own squads seems unhelpful but that is an issue that has already been anticipated and some form of accommodation could be made.

At both Premier League and EFL level there are concerns around transfer dealings distracting from on-field business.

This year’s window shuts on August 31, 20 days after the start of the Premier League season and 27 after the first EFL clashes.

A number of potentially high-profile deals are still hanging in the air, with Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho courted by Barcelona, Everton looking to sell Ross Barkley and buy Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson. Southampton, meanwhile, have multiple parties interested in defender Virgil van Dijk.

While a rule change at Premier League level requires a two-thirds majority approval, EFL regulations require a simple majority of those who cast a vote, as well as a majority within the Championship.