EFL clubs back plan to close the window

Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer
Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer
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EFL clubs have indicated they are in favour of an early closure to the summer transfer window from next season.

The decision was taken following a summit of all 72 clubs this week and will be subject to further discussions before it is put to a formal vote in February.

The EFL is set to follow the Premier League after its clubs agreed to close the window the day before the start of the 2018-19 season earlier this month.

The EFL’s proposal however, would continue to allow the signing of players on loan until August 31.

Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer has been a vocal critic of the current system, having lost Brad Potts just before the season started as well as Bright Osayi-Samuel and Peter Hartley.

“It doesn’t quite add up or make sense,” Bowyer said of the system on deadline day last month.

“I think a lot of managers have stated the case for the window closing before the start of the season.

“We were trying to prepare for AFC Wimbledon on Saturday and there was the potential for two players we were working with to then be unavailable.

“To get the window shut before the start of the season would make everyone’s lives easier.”

The indication by the EFL teams to introduce a shorter window for player transfers follows debate about the uncertainty caused to managers and players with activity still ongoing once the season has started.

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “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.”

The 72 clubs also discussed, and opted against, using more than three substitutes during a match.

They will, next year, vote on a change of policy regarding the fielding of full-strength teams in the closing stages of a season.

A statement from the EFL read: “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.”