EFL clubs back closing summer transfer window before season starts

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 today, 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.

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.

"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," 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, but 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."

Meanwhile, Everton manager Ronald Koeman has defended the tradition of the Carabao Cup after Jose Mourinho questioned whether English football would be better off without it.

Manchester United boss Mourinho, who won the trophy last year, offered his withering view of the competition after his side's 4-1 victory over Burton.

The Portuguese said: "If you ask me could English football survive or even be better without this competition? Maybe."

Mourinho vowed to respect the tournament after booking a fourth-round spot but also pondered whether a reduced fixture list would benefit English sides in Europe.

But Koeman, whose side secured a place in the fourth round by beating Sunderland 3-0, said: "I think both cup competitions are really a tradition in English football.

"Manchester United won it last season and I think that is nice to win, even if it is the League Cup."


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