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Premier League leads way in transfer window closure, says West Brom’s Richard Garlick

West Bromwich Albion’s director of football administration Richard Garlick would be “amazed” if others did not follow the lead of the Premier League by shutting their transfer windows before the start of the season.

Premier League club’s voted last week to close the 2018 window on Thursday, August 9, two days before the first match of the next campaign.

The decision was not unanimous; reached instead by a two-thirds majority of 14 clubs. Five clubs voted against the change and one abstained.

Some managers, such as Jose Mourinho, have since expressed fears the move will give their continental rivals an edge in the race to sign players but Garlick is adamant it will pay long-term dividends.

“The Premier League is the most powerful league in the world,” Garlick told the club’s official website. “We should be leading on this and that’s what we’ve done. I think you will see a domino effect now. I would be amazed if that did not happen.

“The most important thing is the integrity of the competition. It’s wrong for the clubs, for the League for the ‘brand’ that you have the first three round of games with some of the best players sat watching the games. We’re the wealthiest league in the world and we should be able to stop that.”

Garlick expects the shorter window will spur clubs into action sooner and feels the quality of the product of the Premier League will be stronger with situations involving marquee players such as Virgil van Dijk, Philippe Coutinho, Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez hopefully resolved before the season begins.

Garlick explained: “I don’t think it will change anything for us in the transfer window itself. That will always go through three phases.

“The first is the deals you can get done at the start – the player wants to come, his club want to sell and we want to buy. Jay Rodriguez was a classic example of that this summer.

“Then you get the ‘hostile’ deals which are the second phase….a club doesn’t want to sell, a player wants to leave, the price is the subject of dispute and so on.

“The third phase is the final two weeks when the clubs see the deadline looming and you start to get movement.

“I do not think that pattern will alter just because we have brought the deadline forward.

“We have a plan going through the spring period; you know what you want to do for the following season. But the best laid plans rarely survive the first engagement. I don’t see any of that changing.”


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