On 7th September 2017, there was a meeting involving all 20 Premier League Clubs. The result – the leagues summer Transfer Deadline Day to be moved from 31st August to the Thursday before the first game of the season.
The summer Transfer Deadline Day has become one of the most famous events in modern football. Football fanatics across the world sit down in front of the TV and watch the madness happen.
We’ve seen it all on this ever so famous day with many stand out moments coming to mind. In 2013, the Welsh Wizard, Gareth Bale, signed for Real Madrid for a whopping £85.1million. In 2014, Arsene Wenger was pictured in Rome which sent Arsenal fans crazy as they were desperate for a striker… it turned out he was refereeing a charity match. In most recent transfer deadline days, we’ve seen many field reporters mobbed by eager fans armed with indecent objects. And that’s just to name a few.
However, the dynamics of this special day are set to change. The rule amendment triggered by a majority vote means in the future the summer window will close at 17:00 on the Thursday before the start of the season. It sounds quite daunting and arguably a less exciting move for English football. The question that all football fans want to know is how will this affect English football?
Firstly, this move will arguably create more stability for the top-flight clubs as the managers are more certain about who is in their squad for the start of the season. This will give the managers the reassurance that they won’t have to adjust tactics and formations due to players departing the club. Also, there’s no risk of players suddenly getting unspecified injuries amidst transfer speculation preventing the manager from playing him. Philippe Coutinho springs to mind despite him not actually leaving Liverpool.
From a players point of view, this change also gives them stability and allows them to focus purely on the games coming up for their current club. They won’t be bombarded with transfer gossip around the time when they’re playing games as all Premier League transfers will be completed before the start of the season. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a perfect example of this as his future was under debate after the start of the season. He came up against Liverpool in an Arsenal shirt and his team were hammered 4-0. A few days later he made the switch to play for Liverpool leading to the public questioning his commitment to the Gunners when playing against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
However, there could still be disruption to Premier League Squads. Despite the league’s transfer deadline day moving before the season starts, clubs across Europe and the world will still be able to sign players from the top-flight clubs up until the 31st August. There might be less disruption but there’ll certainly still be some screws loosened. For some Premier League managers, the situation could even be worse. If they can’t hold onto their best players and see them leave the club to play abroad after the league’s summer deadline day then the manager has no means to replace him. This is unless you rely on the English youth system but we know a lot of Premier League teams don’t want to do that!
Another possible negative could be the inability for managers to fix what is wrong in their squad. The manager may decide after watching his side play their first few league games that he needs a new player to mend the issue. This was something I’d argue Paul Clement’s Swansea City did perfectly with the signings of Wilfried Bony and Renato Sanches.
It looks as if other foreign leagues may look to follow suit as UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, backs the idea and the German Budesliga have discussed the issue at a previous meeting. The English Football League is also understood to be having a similar meeting to cast a vote on the new proposal.
Overall, I’d say that English football fans need not worry as the magic of transfer deadline day will still be alive and flowing. It will simply be on a different day! On the Thursday before the first game of the season we will still see some crazy transfers as clubs rush to get the deals done. Money will still be thrown around as if it’s manure in a field and hilariously funny mistakes will still be made (like a potential future Derby County player signing the wrong part of the contact and actually not moving to the Rams as it was too late… I’m a Derby fan).