A chief executive at a Premier League club has voiced his support of proposals to bring the summer transfer deadline forward, but believes they could be undermined if the rest of Europe doesn’t follow suit.
At a shareholder’s meeting on 7 September Premier League clubs will discuss and vote on shortening the summer transfer window so it closes before the season starts.
Many are frustrated at a current deadline that leaves squads subject to upheaval weeks into a new season.
Brighton and Hove Albion chief Paul Barber, formerly a director at the Football Association and Tottenham, said he backed the idea for both footballing and commercial reasons.
“It gives a manager the best chance of not only getting the squad together in the time that he needs but also getting them to work together before the opening game,” he told City A.M.
“If you receive bid once the season has started, it’s unsettling not only for the players targeted by also for those committed to the club who don’t want the squad weakened. You get into a potentially mad scramble for replacements and the whole thing is disruptive.
“I think many transfers fet dragged out over a unnecessarily long time period because they can be. A more condensed period might make for more frantic activity, but at least you wouldn’t have these huge dramas that take up time and resources, and usually end up in the same place.”
Barber said his sentiments were echoed by other clubs he had spoken to, but warned that some could be unsure of a situation that would leave them unable to seek alternatives should their players be subject to bids from top European clubs.
The current Premier League transfer window closes in sync with other major European leagues at the end of August.
Should at least 14 of 20 clubs vote in favour of shortening the window from the beginning of next season, teams would still be able to sell players overseas in the opening weeks of the season.
“I think the majority of clubs would prefer the window to close before the start of the season providing that doesn’t put them at a disadvantage to clubs outside of England,” says Barber.
“The issue, I think, for particularly those clubs that are competing in Europe is the chance that their rivals are going to get an extra week or two weeks to bring in reinforcements if there’s not a Europe-wide policy.”
Football League clubs also announced on Tuesday that they would discuss shortening their transfer window at a meeting next month.