The English football clubs decided to move the end of the transfer window to the last day before the start of the Premier League in 2018. The change came after years of controversy if deals should be allowed after the competition has already started.
Unfortunately, no other major European league followed suit and that created certain issues. As a result, the clubs will now have to decide if Deadline Day should move back to the last day of August.
I share my opinion in this post, as the matter is certainly complex and has different angles.
Arguments for the Current Solution
Moving the last day of the transfer window certainly made sense at the time. Many managers had been advocating for such a solution long before it actually happened. The argument that you don’t want to lose focus once the English Premier League starts is rock solid.
You want to set your sight on the season ahead and leave the transfers on the side, at least until January. That’s the ideal scenario and I believe you don’t even need more arguments in favor of the earlier deadline.
However, the problem is that it’s not working as it was supposed to for the reasons you will see in the next section.
Arguments for Moving Back to the End of August
While in theory, moving the final day of the transfer window should’ve ended all worries about potential moves, it hasn’t worked as expected. The other European leagues decided to use the previous system, so the English clubs are stuck in a tough position.
They still have their players approached by other teams after the EPL start, so the squad and the manager are not focused solely on the performance on the pitch.
What’s even worse, if an English club somehow ends up losing an important player in August, there’s no way to replace him in the same transfer window. The team has to wait until January and that could ruin the whole season.
It’s a tricky situation for all clubs that have players who could attract attention from the rest of Europe. And let’s face it, that’s pretty much every side in the English elite nowadays.
I’m not sure what to expect from the English clubs. If I had to bet on their decision, I would’ve backed them to revert to the previous rules. Until the rest of the top football leagues in Europe agree on a similar approach, it will be hard for any change to work.
I certainly hope that the likes of the Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga, and Ligue 1 decide on an early deadline in the near future, as no one wants confused players and rotten atmosphere in the locker rooms, once the season is underway. There’s time for transfers and there’s time to play football.