One of the first things about the summer transfer window is that it never seems to go away. As soon as it ends, we’re informed of what might have gone on – or even handed reports of respective sides planned business at the halfway mark of the season.
Love it or hate it, there’s no getting away from the vast amounts of money in football and the majority of that is thrown about in the summer transfer market, where world-class players become small children in a monstrous game of piggy in the middle.
In recent years, transfer prices have risen to insane levels and we’re now seeing players worth more money than some countries spend on defending their nation. That’s ridiculous for a number of reasons, mostly because I’d rather have a nuclear arsenal defending me from alien invaders than Neymar kicking footballs into orbit.
It’s been clear for a while that the transfer window needed to be restructured in a more fair way and the Premier League has gritted its teeth to make a big change, with the teams in the top-flight voting to end the transfer window before the start of a new season.
The new changes will come into effect next summer ahead of the 2018/19 season, with the Premier League window slamming shut at 5pm on Thursday 7th August – just over three weeks after the World Cup Final, meaning an extremely busy period.
Whilst there’s plenty to take from the news, the grand scheme of things is that it doesn’t really change too much at all. However, as it stands, it could end up being a bad thing for the Premier League unless the other top leagues in Europe follow suit.
If La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A and others decide to keep their summer windows as it is, then the Premier League clubs will be at a disadvantage as they’ll risk losing their players to top clubs on the continent and won’t have the ability to replace them.
Fortunately, though, the Premier League has the financial strength to stop this from happening and a domino effect could now follow through the rest of the top European leagues, as they seek to follow the trend that English football has set.
In the end, though, all it really means is a few less weeks of transfer craziness. If Virgil Van Dijk can remain at Southampton, then it shows Premier League clubs are under no financial pressure at all to approve a sale – but it could drive up prices as there’s less time to get a deal done.
That’s one side of the argument but the other is that it could see a decrease in prices, as selling clubs will have less time to approve a departure and could miss out vastly – much like Arsenal have done with Alexis Sanchez this summer.
There will still be a Deadline Day, it will just be earlier, and there will still be crazy prices. Whether the early end sees a rise or decrease in those figures remains to be seen, although it seems more likely to be the latter as it’s clear the current rise in fees is not sustainable.
In reality, the early end of the transfer window is something that makes a lot of sense but doesn’t really affect anything. If the football world wanted to make a huge improvement to the transfer window, then they should axe the international break that follows Deadline Day – that’s a change we can certainly all get behind.