Date: 5th September 2017 at 10:52pm
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With the mid August discussion about closing the summer transfer window before action kicks off in the Premier League and EFL, it’s now been confirmed those talks are at an advanced stage.

Back in mid August the BBC quoted and EFL spokesperson on the topic of closing the window before the season kicked off and the EFL had it on their books for when they next met, and it was believed the Premier League would discuss it when they met later this week (September 7) and hold their own vote on whether to pursue the topic.

At the point it was stated that it wasn’t a reaction to the transfer issues that hit this August with Barcelona and Liverpool over Philippe Coutinho and the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Southampton, but there had certainly been a groundswell of managers making their opinions known that something had to be done so players didn’t get their heads turned and moreover, some players got their hands out of their panties and got their heads firmly screwed back on so their clubs didn’t miss out on their services for the opening month of the year.

The BBC reported yesterday that the Premier League would vote at their shareholder meeting this week on Thursday on the issue and they quoted EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey as saying that talks were at a very advanced stage, with a number of clubs keen on a change, because talks were opened before the start of the season as it had been identified as an ongoing issue that caused concern.

‘Generally I think the mood is that it will be an improvement. There are some significant concerns at some Premier League clubs around European competitions – the teams they are playing against being able to sign players after them. And from the EFL’s perspective we have some real practical challenges to get over as well. Traditionally we start the season at different dates, so which start of the season are we going to use? Some of our clubs also survive on transfer income – selling players is an absolutely critical part of their business plan. There are a number of checks and balances we need to take to make sure this decision doesn’t lead to some unintended consequences.’

Closing the transfer window before the season begins wouldn’t solve those issues of European clubs being able to poach players – whether or not they face each other in European competition – as neither the Premier League nor the EFL can dictate a European or world wide change in the game, so they would be issues to overcome – but the money in the game in England , with China knuckling down it’s own spending this summer, does leave us in an advanced position here to get it right and it’d be down to others to fall in line.

At the heart of it should be what’s best for our game, not what’s best for the accountants or other leagues.

Harvey also defended the ridiculous decision to hold the EFL Cup in foreign countries so far this year. With sponsors Carabao hosting the draw in Thailand to begin with, despite being beset with errors – as was the second round draw – the decision was taken to hold the third round draw in Beijing, China.

Harvey was adamant the Cup would benefit from exposure in Asia as it took place at 4.15am UK time.

‘The EFL got their first major overseas sponsor in Carabao. This was their brand launch in China, which is a key market for them. In fairness, the draw usually takes place immediately after the last game of the round so it is made somewhere between 10:20pm and 11pm at night – the majority of people at that stage have already gone to bed.’

No Mr Harvey that misses the point entirely.

Whole swatches of people stay up to watch the draw and find out their next opponents, and nightshift workers can also follow and no doubt stay up and disrupt their schedule when we have ridiculous 10/11am draws for things as well.

Fans do that, we’ll kind of strange people – but hey you know that, that’s why we have ridiculous ticket prices in the game, that’s why fans are always at the back of the pile in priority as you bend over backwards for sponsors and the television companies and won’t recompense fans losing money appropriately through actions that are not their fault.

Nobody in their right mind – even a fan – would stay up until 4.15am that wasn’t even being televised.

‘Picking 4:15am, the net result for the vast majority of people was the same – to wake up and find the result of the draw. We have an ambition to build the brand of the EFL and our cup competitions and this was a part of it. Yes it was not popular with a few but the benefits should be felt by the majority going forward.’

Sorry Mr Harvey, for most people who wake up they have a routine to deal with, work to consider, weather, traffic, they don’t spend their morning online just because moneymen decide 4.15am is fine because it suits the new crowd and the money you are hoping to take from them.

Not a popular with a few seriously questions your understanding of the word ‘few’ and what you mean by ‘benefits should be felt by the majority’ would translate as an uplift in the EFL’s coffers and basically put, sod the fans again.

You do realise you lose the fans, you lose your business and your job and exposure in Asia won’t save you. Have you learnt nothing from the EFL Trophy experiment???

Probably not, at the moment revenue continues to go up because the Premier League are subsidising it and you still went and got a new sponsor on top which helps obviously. Easy mistake to make.

Fans are already choosing between league and Cup action as to what deserves their support, or should I say, their cash. For the last few years all we’ve heard is how the EFL Cup, or League Cup for non rebranded folk, is being devalued by Premier League and Championship sides sending out so called weakened teams and not taking it seriously and now by your own choice we can’t even have Cup draws at a sensible time for what should be your main ‘consumers’ because the expectation is fans will simply put up with it.

Clearly nothing has been learnt from the EFL Trophy and it seems nobody has learned from the reports suggesting television viewing figures are down, hence I guess Sky Sports’ rebranding of their channels with a lower cost for subscribers – which is a good move.

Maybe the start should be stop ripping off fans in this country and give them a fair deal given the millions in the game now and maybe you won’t have to panic over foreign markets in the hope of plugging a gap that according to the press seems to be widening.

Some steps have been taken in that direction with a general uplift in attendance figures, but how much of that is misrepresented by free tickets being given out that presumably follow the same process as season tickets – they are counted whether you’re there or not. But instead of inconveniencing further the very fans you already have on board in your attempts to woo new ones, properly take care of those who already exist.

Just an idea like.