The Premier League summer transfer window may not start until the end of August as a result of coronavirus impact on the football calendar, with clubs tipped to be planning business from September.
The 2019/20 season in England has been on hold for eight weeks and counting as the country attempts to battle the COVID-19 crisis and quell the spread of the virus.
There has been movement this week on what has been dubbed ‘Project Restart’ that could see matches resume behind closed doors and a limited number of venues from 8 June.
Despite flexibility from UEFA to adopt a reduced programme to complete the season or even abandon it completely if deemed necessary, the Premier League is believed to be committed to playing out the remainder of the campaign – 92 games – in full.
The proposals for a restart on 8 June could see things wrapped up by 27 July. UEFA is also planning for 2019/20 European competitions to be then concluded in August.
There remains some debate about when the 2020/21 season might start, which will in turn influence when the transfer window can be open for clubs to do business.
Previous reporting on ‘Project Restart’ highlighted 22 August as a start date for next season. That fed into earlier predictions that there could be as little as a few short weeks, maybe just two, between the end of one campaign and the start of the next.
Now, the Daily Mail suggests the end of August for the start of the summer transfer window, which is likely to be crucial for a number of clubs – albeit for different reasons than we might have predicted just two months ago, and a mid-September start for the new season.
With FIFA leaving the exact dates for each individual association to decide to best suit their own circumstance, there is general flexibility and therefore no clear suggestion of when the transfer window – which would typically be around 10 weeks in summer – would close.
The Mail notes that lower league clubs in England are expected to lobby for a longer and more flexible approach to the window in order to protect them against wealthier sides picking off their players with offer they cannot afford to refuse.
There has been previous speculation that the summer transfer window could be allowed to remain open indefinitely and simply then merge into the January window early next year.