Should the summer transfer window close before the season kicks off?
2015-09-18 BY SaSa

There has been some talk about changing the date of the summer transfer window as it can unsettle teams during the first couple of weeks of the season.

Some players may be distracted by talks of whether offers have come in for them, especially if they’re wanted by a bigger club. Managers may also be reluctant to put players in their starting XI if they think they won’t be at the club much longer.

So wouldn’t it be more sensible to move the transfer window so that it closed just before the season started? Then, everyone would know where they stood and new players would have the chance to train with their club before the first game of the season is played.

However, it needs a concerted effort by all European clubs to pick the same day and time for the transfer window to close.

It seems ludicrous that this summer Germany’s deadline was 6pm (BST) on Monday August 31 while Italy, Spain, Holland, Russia and France had until midnight on August 31 to complete a deal. The English Premier League and Football clubs could continue trading until 6pm on September 1 while Scotland carried on until midnight on September 1.

So England and Scotland could carry on buying players for several hours after the rest of Europe although they would not be able to offload any to other European countries whose deadlines had passed.

The biggest farce of the transfer window was the fiasco surrounding the supposed transfer of goalkeeper David de Gea from Manchester United to Real Madrid. The necessary paperwork was not submitted in time and Madrid lost out. Both clubs spent a few days blaming each other but de Gea struck it lucky with a new deal at Old Trafford bringing in a handsome £200,000 a week.

So, to avoid such problems, all leagues throughout Europe should pick a time and date to close the window and stick to it.

However, there are a few obstacles in the way.

If the start of the season was put back until the deadline day of August 31 or September 1, it would mean more a slightly shorter season with more weekday games which are not popular with TV companies who pay big money for television rights.

Also, the timetable is drawn up around the UEFA and FIFA calendars to fit around Premier League clubs playing in the Champions League or Europa.

Certainly TV companies would want to see as many domestic games as possible played at weekends because the audiences are so much better. They would not want a shorter season with fewer weekend games nor would it be reasonable to extend the season which could clash with Euro games, World Cup matches or lucrative overseas competitions through the summer.

West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Pulis is among those calling for a change. He said it was ‘ridiculous’ that they were talking about the possibility of players leaving or going to WBA in the third week of the season. He called it ‘disruptive’.

It certainly can be. But it would need a Europe-wide decision to change the window which could be difficult to achieve. And the drama of deadline day – or D Day as it is known – is an exciting time, especially for TV companies and their viewers following the drama live until the final countdown.