Belfast Telegraph

Premier League votes to close transfer window before kick-off

By Matt Slater

Premier League clubs have agreed to close the summer transfer window the day before the start of the 2018-19 season.

This means clubs will not be allowed to register any new players after 5pm on Thursday, August 9, 2018, but they will still be able to sell players to clubs in leagues where the window is still open, as is currently the case.

In a short statement, the league said: "Premier League clubs have today agreed to a rule amendment that will see the summer transfer window in any year end at 17:00 on the Thursday before the start of the season.

"This is for Premier League clubs only and has no bearing on other leagues and competitions."

Yesterday's vote followed weeks of debate about the uncertainty caused to managers and players by three weeks of transfer activity and speculation at the start of a new campaign.

The fact that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool only five days after playing for Arsenal in a 4-0 defeat at Anfield was raised as an example of the extended window's threat to the integrity of the league.

Not every club has been convinced of this argument, though, with several understood to be concerned about closing the window much earlier than other European leagues.

The decision means Premier League clubs will be unable to replace players they lose to foreign teams in the last few weeks of the window, while English Football League clubs are also understood to be keen on closing the window before the season starts, and EFL chairman Shaun Harvey revealed that the league will vote on it at a meeting on September 21.

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