Premier League clubs have voted narrowly in favor of closing the transfer window before the start of the domestic season, coming into force before the 2018-19 campaign.
The summer transfer window will now shut at 5pm on the Thursday before the first game of the season, with the change affecting only incoming signings. The Premier League is the first European elite division to abandon the deadline on or around 31 August, meaning clubs elsewhere in Europe will be able to buy their players but no replacements could be signed.
Senior executives from the 20 top-flight clubs met in a central London hotel to consider the proposed changes, with in-depth discussions lasting four hours. It is understood 14 clubs voted in favour of the amendment with five against and one abstention
The five who voted against were Manchester City, Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Watford and Swansea City. United’s vote was apparently cast against the wishes of José Mourinho, who said last last month that he would “prefer the window to close as soon as possible”.
Those opposed to the rule change worry that Premier League clubs will be left short if their players are bought after the domestic window shuts and they are unable to replace them.
The move comes after the start of this season was dominated by uncertainty over the future of players.
The Premier League’s chairman, Richard Scudamore, said there was an overwhelming sense that clubs wanted to begin the season with more certainty over their squad.
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