LONDON – English Premier League clubs voted on Thursday to close the 2018 close-season transfer window before the start of the 2018/19 campaign.
Following complaints by managers that transfer activity disturbs their preparations, Premier League clubs will not be able to register new players after 4pm GMT on the Thursday before the season starts.
The transfer window in Europe’s other major leagues runs until August 31, meaning clubs outside England could buy players from English top-flight teams after the new Premier League deadline.
The move was announced following a meeting of Premier League club officials and is not believed to have been agreed unanimously.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave his backing to the decision before it was announced.
“Even in the games, you sit there before the games and even in players’ minds they have no clarity,” he told reporters at his weekly press conference.
“Are they in? Are they out? Are they half-in? Are they half-out? Are they tapped up in the afternoon of the game by people who want to get them out? It’s not the way to work, and it’s uncomfortable.
“Every single manager in the league would agree that it’s time to kick that out before the season starts and not continue to have players in the dressing room who are half-out and half-in.”
England’s Football League – the second, third and fourth tiers – is not affected by the move.
Premier League clubs spent a record £1.4 billion on new players during the 2017 close-season window.
The window closed last Thursday, three weeks after the new season had started.