Discontent among managers was the driving force behind the Premier League’s decision to close the transfer window before the season starts, says its executive chairman Richard Scudamore.
The move, which will take effect from next year, was approved after 14 clubs – the minimum required to pass the change – voted in favour on Thursday. Five clubs opposed it and one abstained.
Scudamore played down the split vote and emphasised that, while there may be a degree of boardroom dissent, the decision reflected the sentiment among the managers of England’s leading teams.
“The managers are very strong on it. Almost all of them were in favour of shutting it earlier,” he said.
“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.”
Which clubs voted against moving transfer deadline?
Manchester United and Manchester City are believed to have voted against the change, along with Crystal Palace, Watford and Swansea, with Burnley abstaining.
The move is designed to minimise disruption caused by transfers after the season has season has started and the resulting uncertainty over players’ futures that saw Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk sit out the first games of the current campaign.
Critics point out that buyers from elsewhere in Europe and England’s lower leagues will still be able to sign Premier League players up until their deadlines, commonly at the end of of August.
Scudamore added: “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.”
Could European leagues follow suit?
Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta called the decision “wise” and urged the likes of Italy, Spain and Germany to consider following suit by synchronising their deadline with the Premier League.
“Now we have to extend the discussion to a European level,” said Marotta.
“It’s the right choice. Having such a long transfer window creates turmoil. A well-run club succeeds by planning out a transfer campaign. The transfer market has to be limited; you can’t have players moving when the leagues have already started.”
English Football League chairman Shaun Harvey said this week that clubs from the three divisions below the top flight could also bring their deadline forward but added that there were “practical challenges”, such as the fact that their fixtures tend to begin a week before those in the Premier League.