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Changes To The Transfer Window Could Be Coming Soon

Fed up of waiting until the end of August for Bushwatch? We might have some good news

The Madejski Stadium

One of the big grumbles for managers (and there are many), regards the current timing of the transfer window. Many are fed up of the fact that three or four games into the season they might well end up losing a key player because another team has waited until the last minute to do their shopping.

Well, fresh off the Premier League announcing plans to shut the window before the season starts, the EFL have now proposed to follow suit, meaning Bushwatch might come early next season!

Here’s what they had to say on their website.

EFL clubs have indicated they would be in favour of an earlier closure of the transfer window from next season onwards.

The decision was taken at a meeting of all 72 clubs and, subject to further discussions, will be put to a formal vote in February next year ahead of any changes being implemented in time for the 2018 Summer Window.

While the EFL is under no obligation to make any changes, the EFL outlined a suggested approach that differs from the recent adjustment by the Premier League, whereby a shorter window for permanent transfers would be introduced, but clubs could continue to sign players on loan until the traditional end of the window on 31st August. Clubs overwhelmingly supported the approach.

EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “Today was all about understanding a direction of travel in what is a hugely emotive matter not only for clubs and managers but supporters as well. The clubs have been clear in their mandate and we will now go away and look to develop a set of proposals before moving this matter on to the next stage, which would be a formal vote in order to change our regulations.”

This one seems to make sense for all involved. The only issue might be for EFL clubs who are involved in play-off races, who will have even less time to sort their transfer plans out, yet that’s a small price to pay for more stability heading into the new season.

Full-Strength Teams

That wasn’t the only matter discussed at their most recent meeting, with the issue of what constitutes a ‘full-strength’ team being brought up. You may remember a bit of a row when Huddersfield fielded a very changed side against relegation battlers Birmingham at the tail end of last season.

Well, now they’ve put forward a proper definition that clubs can be held accountable to.

Clubs were asked to support the implementation of guidance on the following basis: ‘From the fourth Thursday in March, any team sheet for a League game should include at least 10 outfield players who featured on the team sheet for the League game before.’

Clubs indicated they were in support of amending the policy guidance and a formal vote will now take place at the February Club Meeting.

Other Issues

There was also discussion around allowing a fourth substitute to be used during EFL games but for now the clubs have opted against that one.

Ownership also crept up, something Reading fans have had first hand dealings with over the past few years. The talks mostly surrounded what the EFL could do to bring owners into line, or sort out any disputes between fans and those running the club. For now, it’s simply a consultation phase.

Finally, broadcasting issues were also brought up, following the new £600m TV deal with Sky.

So what do you make of all that? Happy we’ll get an early Bushwatch, or disappointed we won’t be seeing an extra sub. Let us know!