NYON, Switzerland - Europe’s leading soccer coaches want the transfer window to be shortened, contradicting the position of their clubs.
“The clubs like it as it is but the coaches are of the opinion that the market should be closed earlier,” Tottenham Hotspur coach Andre Villas-Boas told reporters after a meeting at UEFA headquarters.
“The coaches need time to prepare their teams for the season,” he added.
“Most coaches would like it be open less time and closed earlier; obviously we will have to have further meetings.”
The summer transfer window closed on Monday, causing confusion among coaches who began the season without knowing which of their players would remain at their club.
“You prepare everything with your players and one week after your players can be playing against you,” Napoli coach Rafael Benitez told the conference.
However, he said it was a complicated issue because seasons kicked off on different dates while teams involved in Champions League qualifying matches were still uncertain of their income for the season.
“If you close the window on August 15, maybe in England you are already playing and in Italy you haven’t started so it’s quite difficult for everyone,” he said.
“The idea of the coaches that it should close earlier, that is very clear, but if the clubs don’t know or not if they will qualify for the Champions League, they don’t know how much money they can spend on signing players.”
Vilas-Boas also commented on Tottenham’s decision to sell Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a record 100 million euros.
“The pressure which we were subjected to by the player has been intense, the influence of Real Madrid has been very, very strong,” he said.
“You get to a point where you have to consider if it’s feasible, in not accepting the offer...whether you can press on with the player in that state of mind.”
Both coaches said they welcomed UEFA’s financial fair play initiative which prohibits clubs from spending more than their generated revenue.
“I think it’s a great step definitely, it will also promote investment in youth, which doesn’t count as expenditure under the rules financial fair play,” said Villas-Boas.
Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Clare Fallon