The Premier League transfer window closed early for the second successive season, but do managers think it is time to bring the deadline back in line with the rest of Europe?
The 2019 summer window closed at 5pm on August 8, just over 24 hours before the opening game of the season between Liverpool and Norwich at Anfield – while the deadline for other major European leagues is on Monday, September 2.
It came as a result of a vote in 2017, when 14 clubs were in favour of bringing forward Deadline Day to one day before the start of the season, while five – Manchester City, Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Watford and Swansea – voted against it. Burnley abstained from the vote.
The 20 top-flight clubs plan to discuss whether to change the last day of transfers at their next scheduled meeting on September 12, and it is understood ‘several’ clubs would like to raise the deadline.
Premier League bosses have given us their insight on whether they would like to see Deadline Day moved back to the end of August rather than the start…
‘It was a massive mistake’
Tottenham managerMauricio Pochettino: “I wasn’t in agreement [with the decision] but at that moment they believed that was best for the clubs.
“But I think he [Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy] and a lot of people now realise it was a massive mistake. I hope that we fix the problem for the next season.
“We need to go back and operate in the same way that they operate in Europe because I think it’s massive when you go to compete in the Europa League or Champions League.
“Champions League teams can create a problem for a team like us and it’s so clear that I cannot be happy as a coach that in the last three weeks clubs from Europe can unsettle your team.
“For me, it’s not common sense and we need to go back quick, hope they have a good conversation at the Premier League and go back quickly [to how it was].”
‘It puts us at a disadvantage’
Leicester managerBrendan Rodgers: “Yeah, I would agree [with Pochettino]. I felt on the outside looking in, the concept was right […] in terms of closing the window before the season starts, I think that was a really good idea. I felt that was really good if it was aligned across Europe.
“The problem is that if you ask yourself ‘are we at a disadvantage?’ Then we are, of course. The window shuts at the beginning of the season and then you could still lose your top player to European football after that.
“So I think Mauricio is absolutely right, I think it puts Premier League clubs at a disadvantage, but I still think it’s a good idea to shut it, but it would have to be aligned across Europe.
‘It makes no sense’
Liverpool managerJurgen Klopp: “I don’t care when it closes, I only think it must close at the same time [as the rest of Europe].
“When they spoke about ‘Let’s finish it before the season starts then everyone knows their squad’ – that’s a good idea. But then the rest didn’t do it and that makes no sense.
“Can somebody explain what is the benefit for the Premier League? We don’t really have a problem but for other teams, their key players are still on the market and everything can happen.
“You want a team not only together but together and focused on the future, but that is not possible as long as there is a door open.
“I don’t understand why this decision is not already reviewed at least. At first it was a good idea but it didn’t work out so let’s change it again.”
‘Europe should follow us’
Manchester City managerPep Guardiola:“No, it should be Europe closing [the window] like English teams. I am absolutely in support of finishing the transfer window the moment you start the Premier League or you start the season.
“I’m pretty sure my colleagues from other countries work with people that don’t know if they’re going to stay or leave. In this kind of situation, you cannot prepare.
“So I’m pretty sure the best thing will be all leagues in Europe finish on the same day. Of course, here we start a little bit earlier than other countries but [we should] try to make an agreement with all European leagues to finish at the same time, that would be the perfect situation.”
‘We’ve picked the short straw’
Manchester United managerOIe Gunnar Solskjaer: “I think we have picked the short straw, to be fair.
“When our league starts there are still three more weeks that clubs can be hovering around our players.
“I don’t think it is a good one for us, no.”
‘Unfair could be a good word’
Everton managerMarco Silva: “No doubts, 100 per cent [it gives European sides an unfair advantage]. “I think unfair could be a good word because it’s the right thing.
“It doesn’t make sense that you can lose players during that period. If we have to close a little bit later, it would be better and the best solution.
“It doesn’t make sense that other teams can come here in our club, speak with our players who are in Premier League and preparing football games but in the meantime can be speaking with other clubs who can come here in England to sign them.”
‘It leaves us vulnerable’
Bournemouth managerEddie Howe: “I don’t quite know how it would work, us extending the deadline again.
“We’re now in a situation where the European window is open and it leaves us vulnerable to players maybe wanting to go when we feel our squad would be settled and ready for the next transfer window which is January.
“So I think that gives you problems. I think there’s also problems the other way, which is why we, as a group, decided to shut it earlier. For me, I would have no problem to extend the window back to what it was, but there are pros and cons behind every route.”