Friday, December 15, 2017

Pro et Contra – Premier League Transfer Window Changes Dissected

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The news about Premier League’s decision to close next summer’s transfer window before the 2018-19 campaign starts came as a shock and surprise to many, but it by no means is a rash one.

Managers in England were the first ones to raise the issue with complains that signing players once domestic season gets under way is causing problems with squad atmosphere and team spirit so the FA decided to react.

Premier League Transfer Window Changes

Under the new timing, the next season’s transfer window will officially close at 17:00 BST on the last Thursday before the Premier League new season kick off. The total of fourteen Premier League clubs gave the idea their vote of confidence, which was the minimum of votes required to push the plan forward.

It was by no means a unanimous decision with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Watford, Crystal Palace and Swansea voting against it.

And while the rest of Europe will have it until 31 August to complete the transfer dealings, Premier League clubs will be prevented from buying new players after 9 August, whereas they will still be able to sell players abroad.

This particular issue appears to be the biggest stumbling block and in this article, we have tried to present the Pro et Contra arguments regarding this groundbreaking moment in Premier League history.

Pro

Clarity and Concentration – To describe it with two words Harry Kane and Arsene Wenger used to express their opinions on the matter, the best thing about the new schedule is that it will allow players, managers and clubs to relax and concentrate. Players linked with clubs from abroad do not fall in this bracket as the pressure will hardly get off their chest knowing their potential new destinations can still be solved during the remaining days of August. But with Premier League doing most of its late-stage business domestically it is fair to say the majority of transfers will be done and players will thus have a clear mind to head into the new season with.

Integrity maintained – the Premier League has issued a strong message of intent with the latest decision. Given the vast financial strength of the competition and its economic dominance over the rest of the continent, Premier League is confident big-money offers from abroad will do little to harm the competition’s integrity, as clubs with their books balanced will be able to resist any approach, just as Liverpool did with Barcelona and Philippe Coutinho. More importantly, the latest move will prevent domestic rivals from poaching players after the season has already started – Alexis Sanchez and Manchester City as a (failed) example of such issue.

A positive trend – the initial reactions heard from around the Europe were extremely positive and they could be interpreted as a sign of things to come. Juventus general director Beppe Marotta backed the decision and said he wants Serie A to follow suit. AS Roma sporting director also gave his thumbs up calling the decision ‘right and logical’. UEFA chief Aleksander Cheferin gave his vote of confidence as well, claiming he supported Premier League’s efforts. The Premier League’s decision could initiate the movement and it should not come as a surprise to see other top Europe’s leagues shorten their windows as well.

Contra

Poor timing – Despite the change in the starting and ending dates of the summer transfer window, Premier League clubs will still have 12 weeks to complete their business which FIFA rules imply. Timing of the decision is the biggest question though with the 2018 FIFA World Cup ending on 15 July 2018. It’s hard to believe that Premier League clubs will do any important, big-money business during the competition, whereas its end only leaves them with 25 days to sign players.

European alignment – the overall trend seems to be positive and if other European top leagues follow suit then perhaps the starting dates of separate leagues – which overlap to some extent – will need to be adjusted in order to have all in-house business closed at roughly same time. This way, foreign leagues would be deprived of the advantage towards rivaling competitions when it comes to getting a player from a club which is unable to sign a replacement if the window in their country has previously been shut.

Time vs Money – You can never have both. Choice is stifling, but the one that needs to be made and it appears that cutting time on transfer windows will only push the already overly inflated prices further up toward the roof. Plane logic suggest that clubs would prefer having as long as possible to conclude a deal, particularly at times like these when player demands, agent fees and bonuses are something you can’t do business without. Faced with a running clock, clubs are likely to add on to their already high valuations of players – to a) get more money as possible and b) fend of potential suitors with a hefty tag.

Here it is folks, so have your say in the comments below.

Are you for or against the Premier League’s controversial decision?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines – most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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