September 6, 2017 / 11:54 AM / 17 days ago

UEFA chief Ceferin backs shorter transfer window

FILE PHOTO - UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin arrives at a news conference in Stara Pazova, Serbia, March 31, 2017. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

(Reuters) - UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has backed calls for the close-season transfer window to end before the start of the domestic league season across Europe.

The chairmen of the 20 English Premier League clubs will vote at a shareholders meeting on Sept. 7 to decide if their window should close before the season starts and several managers have voiced their support for the change.

The current transfer deadline is on Aug. 31 while the Premier League began on Aug. 11. The proposed change to the window requires 14 out of 20 votes to go through.

The idea has received support as it removes uncertainty and prevents the loss of key players after the start of the season.

“I am aware there are serious discussions around Europe regarding the shortening of the summer transfer window and we are following them closely,” the head of European football’s governing body told The Times in an emailed statement.

”In my view, it is not good when footballers play for one club when the league starts and another club when the transfer window closes. There is a lot of uncertainty for a long time.

“Therefore I would say that the window might be too long and I would support it being shorter.”

Several Premier League managers have dismissed fears that a change would leave them vulnerable to losing players to other European leagues, whose transfer windows would close later.

The Football League, which governs the lower tiers of English football, could follow in the top tier’s footsteps, according to chief executive Shaun Harvey.

“The one thing our member clubs have said is they do want stability in terms of the players that are available to them from the start of the season,” Harvey said.

”Shutting the transfer window before the season starts has always found favour with our clubs. It would make sense for the dates to be aligned with the Premier League and any unintended consequences need to be thought through.

“This will be on the agenda for our club meeting on September 21.”

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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