London (AFP) – English Premier League clubs voted on Thursday to shut the 2018 close-season transfer window before the start of the 2018-19 campaign.
Following complaints by managers that transfer activity disturbs their preparations, clubs will not be able to register new players after 1600 GMT on the Thursday before the season starts.
The transfer window in Europe’s other major leagues runs until August 31, meaning clubs outside England could buy players from English top-flight teams after the new Premier League deadline.
“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,” the Premier League said in a statement.
“This is for Premier League clubs only and has no bearing on other leagues and competitions.”
Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta says Serie A’s 20 clubs are in agreement to “set the end of the transfer window on July 31” in Italy.
“The transfer window is exhausting,” he said recently. “It’s become a circus.”
But the German league (DFL) said there was no clear consensus among the Bundesliga’s top clubs.
“The theme of the transfer window – regardless of the decision of the Premier League – was on the agenda of today’s general meeting of sports representatives of the Bundesliga and the second Bundesliga at the DFL, and it became clear that there is no definitive opinion among the clubs,” said a DFL spokesman.
The Premier League’s move was announced following a meeting of club officials and is not believed to have been agreed unanimously.
– Wenger approval –
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave his backing to the decision before it was announced.
“Even in the games, you sit there before the games and even in players’ minds they have no clarity,” he told reporters at his weekly press conference.
“Are they in? Are they out? Are they half in? Are they half out? Are they tapped up in the afternoon of the game by people who want to get them out? It’s not the way to work and it’s uncomfortable.
“Every single manager in the league would agree that it’s time to kick that out before the season starts and not continue to have players in the dressing room who are half out and half in.”