How will Premier League transfer window changes affect the Bundesliga? | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 07.09.2017
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How will Premier League transfer window changes affect the Bundesliga?

Premier League sides will no longer be allowed to buy players after the start of the league season, after clubs agreed to alter the transfer window. But what will be the impact on the Bundesliga and the rest of Europe?

On Thursday, the Premier League agreed to a rule amendment that will mean future summer transfer windows will end on the Thursday before the competition's opening game, rather than on August 31. Five clubs voted against the proposal, including Manchester United and Manchester City. 

The change only currently deals with transfers to English clubs, meaning that clubs in other leagues could still buy players from England's top flight. 

But with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin having lent his support to the idea of shortening the window, there are some big decisions to be made in the other European leagues.

Aleksander Ceferin (r) is in favor of the change but Reinhard Grindel (l) of the DFB is not so sure (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Hoppe)

Aleksander Ceferin (r) is in favor of the change but Reinhard Grindel (l) of the DFB is not so sure

What's the reason for change?

The move has been discussed in England for some weeks, with several top flight bosses complaining that transfer battles, such as Alexis Sanchez' proposed move to Manchester City and Coutinho's mooted transfer to Barcelona disrupt their preparations.

"Even in the games, you sit there before the games and even in players' minds they have no clarity," said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger just before the change was announced.

"Are they in? Are they out? Are they half in? Are they half out? Are they tapped up in the afternoon of the game by people who want to get them out? It's not the way to work and it's uncomfortable.

"Every single manager in the league would agree that it's time to kick that out before the season starts." 

What will the Bundesliga do?

While Wenger may say there would be universal support for changes to the existing system, which was introduced in 2002, the DFB (German Football Association) are not so sure.

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"The theme of the transfer window - regardless of the decision of the Premier League - was on the agenda of today's general meeting of sports representatives of the Bundesliga and the second Bundesliga at the DFL, and it became clear that there is no definitive opinion among the clubs," said a DFL spokesman on Thursday.

But several prominent Bundesliga clubs seem to be in favor of coming in to line with the Premier League, at least in principal.

"I believe the decision is right," said Schalke official Peter Peters. "But we would have to find a uniform regulation for all major leagues in Europe." 

Borussia Dortmund managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke also offered his support, while Max Eberl of Borussia Mönchengladbach was even stronger in his reaction.

"The current regulations aren't just a distortion of the competition but also cheat the fan who buys the shirt of a player who might play for another club by the end of August," he said.

How about the rest of Europe?

To many observers, the Premier League's move is a strange one. Unless the other leagues fall in to line, it would seem that English clubs would be at a disadvantage - with a period of about 3 weeks where they can only sell and wouldn't be able to source replacements. As such, many have suggested the league expects its counterparts to follow suit.

The news from Italy is good. Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta says Serie A's 20 clubs are in agreement to set the end of the transfer window on July 31. "The transfer window is exhausting," he said recently. "It's become a circus."

While the opinions of figures from Europe's other top leagues (Spain and France) aren't yet clear, it's beginning to look like the rumor mill will stop churning a little earlier next year.

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