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The law of unintended consequences strikes English clubs

The decision to move the English transfer deadline to before the start of the season was a change warmly welcomed by most Premier League clubs.

For years, they had complained that, allowing the window to remain open for up to two, or three, weeks, after the season started, caused upset for players, managers and fans alike, with clubs looking to make last-minute deals, and causing disruption to squads.

However, introducing the change during a World Cup year was, perhaps, ambitious, limiting still further the time that Premier League clubs had to make deals, with many of the best players away with their countries.

Now, as Jurgen Klopp has found, one consequence that was, perhaps, not foreseen, was that the decision has put English clubs at a disadvantage to their continental rivals, who have not changed their windows. Clubs in England had to buy players before the window closed on August 9th, but many have then found themselves with bloated squads that they need to trim.

European clubs know this and are able to exploit the situation by offering under the going rate for quality players, knowing that English clubs may be forced to accept low bids in order to get their wage bills down, or to trim squad levels in line with Premier League or European competition requirements.

In future years, European transfer windows may become aligned with England, but, for now at least, do not be surprised at seeing top players leave for bargain prices.


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