Leading sport finance expert thinks pre-season transfer deadline could catch on

Premier League clubs spend £1.41billion.

By Press Association Published: 9 August 2019 - 11.24am

The Premier League’s pre-season transfer deadline could be adopted across Europe’s top leagues in the coming years, according to a leading sport finance expert from Deloitte.

For the second season in a row, clubs in England’s top two divisions had their business done before the opening Premier League fixture as the transfer window closed at 5pm on Thursday.

Premier League clubs spent £1.41billion over the summer, only just short of 2017’s record of £1.43bn, and the final deal completed saw Everton announce the signing of Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi four hours beyond the deadline at 9pm – but the focus can now shift to action on the pitch.

SOCCER Transfers
(PA Graphics)

Dan Jones, of Deloitte’s sport business group, told PA: “It already, after just the second year, seems so much more sensible that this is all concluded before the season starts.

“I think if you were to propose now to go the other way – ‘Let’s have a couple of weeks after the start of the season’ – nobody would ever vote for that.

“The chances would be near to zero. There’s just a strong logical sense from everybody’s part – whether you’re a player, a fan, a manager – to get it done before the season starts and then you can concentrate on football and not have all that speculation.”

Despite the possible advantage given to clubs on the continent, who are still able to buy players until the end of August – or September 2 this year, due to August 31 falling on a Saturday – Jones can see the English approach catching on.

Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi moved to Everton on deadline day
Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi moved to Everton on deadline day (Nick Potts/PA)

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” he said. “Now that it’s happened here, it seems so logical.

“The only thing you might think, in the other leagues across Europe, is that the Premier League is the biggest buyer and once you know where the Premier League has landed and what you need to replace, you have those three weeks to sort that out once the Premier League is out of the market.

“But if you’re a big league like LaLiga, I could see them thinking it makes sense to do it this way.”

LaLiga clubs have also shelled out over £1bn already, with Serie A also very active, but Jones said: “We’re pretty confident – even with three weeks left in Europe – that the Premier League will be the biggest-spending league again.”