Premier League in talks to close summer transfer window early

Clubs want to enhance integrity of the competition and league chiefs have asked the European Professional Football Leagues if there is a Europe-wide appetite to shorten the window
By Wayne Veysey | UK Correspondent

Premier League chiefs have opened exploratory talks about bringing forward the closure of the summer transfer window, can reveal.

Some top-flight clubs are pushing for it to close before the start of the Premier League season in a bid to enhance the integrity of the competition.

This could mean the window shutting more than 23 days earlier than its current August 31 date, with the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons scheduled to start on August 9 and August 8 respectively.

However, sources say any agreement would have to be Europe-wide as clubs fear there will be financial consequences if the Premier League is not in alliance with the other major European Leagues. understands that the Premier League has asked the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) to find out if there is any appetite across the Continent to shorten the summer window so that it ends before the start of the English top-flight season.

The EPFL is made up of 29 leagues in Europe, whose members include La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga, in addition to the Premier League.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has also been asked by clubs to sound out the major leagues individually.

Sources stress the proposal is only at the exploratory stage and would be “difficult” to agree, given that some European Leagues such as Serie A start at a later date than the Premier League, which will begin on 17 August in 2013-14.

The suggestion has gathered pace because some top-flight clubs believe coinciding the window closure with the start of the season would enhance the sporting value of the competition.

However, critics fear that if there was not an agreement with the other major leagues the costs of players being acquired from overseas may rise and there could also be a drop in the value of players being sold overseas.

There would also be the added complication of conducting transfer business in a tight time-frame during World Cup and European Championships summers.