Transfer window will close after first game of the season in EFL from August

The summer transfer window will close during the first week of the season for the three EFL divisions after clubs voted through changes on Thursday.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 22nd February 2018, 3:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd February 2018, 3:40 pm

Clubs from the Championship, League One and League Two backed proposals for the window to be closed following the first game of the season.

As a result, the next summer window will close on Thursday, August 9 at 5pm - rather than the final day of the month as has been the case since windows were introduced.

This will bring EFL clubs into line with the Premier League, which opted to make the changes last September.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “After discussing the options throughout the course of the last few months, I’m pleased that the matter has been determined by clubs ahead of the start of next season.

“This new approach will give clubs and managers the stability they crave earlier in the season whilst also providing the flexibility to add to their squads after the traditional deadline until the end of month if required.”

Some transfers will still be permitted through the rest of August, including:

- standard loans

- standard loans with the option for a permanent transfer in the following window

- signing unattached players

- transferring players out to clubs in leagues whose windows remain open

Also voted in at a meeting of clubs were changes to the 'full strength' team policy.

Huddersfield Town caused controversy last season when making ten changes for their clash with relegation-threatened Birmingham City, having already been guaranteed a play-off place.

Birmingham triumphed 2-0 which brought criticism from Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray, in particular, whose side would ultimately be relegated.

The EFL declined to impose any punishment on Huddersfield for the incident but allowed the proposal of changes to regulations, which will now be put in place with immediate effect.

Clubs must now adhere to the following guidance: "For any League match played on or after the fourth Thursday in March (including Season 2017/18), any team sheet for a League game should include at least 10 outfield players who featured on the team sheet for the League match before."

Any club breaching the guidance could be charged and the matter referred to the EFL Disciplinary Commission.

EFL clubs will be invited to give their views on the use of artificial pitches within the competition.

National League clubs must meet the requirement of having a grass playing surface if they are to gain promotion to League Two.

If clubs winning promotion have artificial surfaces, they will remain in the National League with the side finishing 23rd in League Two retaining their place.

National League sides Bromley, Maidstone United and Sutton United all have artificial playing surfaces currently.

The EFL insist the views of the Football Association and players' union the PFA on artificial pitches will be taken in account alongside those of clubs.

The EFL also confirmed goalline technology will be used in the League One and League Two play-offs as well as the Championship.