Premier League clubs have voted to close the summer transfer window before the first game of next season. This means that the 2018 window will close on Thursday August 9, two days before the first match of the next campaign, and the new rule applies only to buying players.
Premier League clubs will still be able to sell players to other leagues whose transfer windows remain open later into August and September.
The transfer window for the English Football League also remains unaffected, with clubs able to sell to lower division sides unless the EFL decides to bring its window in line with the top flight. The January transfer window remains unaffected.
Sky sources understand the decision was not unanimous; reached instead by a two-thirds majority of 14 clubs. Five clubs voted against the change and one abstained.
Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore told Sky Sports News: “There was a big concern that the Premier League has been playing two or three match rounds with a degree of uncertainty between themselves.
“It wasn’t unanimous but nobody was pathologically angry about the situation. But there were some concerns by some clubs that, although they wouldn’t be able to buy any more players, their players could still be picked off by those who haven’t closed their windows. It just meant they couldn’t support it.
“We did have managers’ meetings before the season started. The managers are very strong on it. Almost all of them were in favour of shutting it earlier. The clubs just think it’s wrong that, going into the first game of the season, they could be playing against a player that, a few weeks later, could be playing for a different club.”
It comes after a number of Premier League managers and club officials have complained about the negative impact of transfer uncertainty and speculation on their players.
Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, Chelsea’s Diego Costa, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk are just four of a list of players who have not played as they have pursued exits from their respective clubs.