The Premier League and English Football League have agreed the dates for the summer transfer window.
The window will open on July 27, the day after the final round of Premier League matches, and run for 10 weeks until Monday October 5, subject to FIFA approval.
In addition an extra EFL window has been agreed, running from October 5 through to 5pm BST on October 16. During this time Premier League clubs will be able to trade with EFL clubs, either loans or permanent deals, but will not be able to trade with each other.
The 10-week window is two weeks shorter than the last two windows, which have run from mid-May through to early August, before the Premier League season began.
Prior to that, the window traditionally ran through to the end of August, with the change designed to minimise disruption to squads while matches were taking place.
However, other European leagues stuck with the original dates, meaning there were effectively two transfer deadlines that continued to create uncertainty once matches were underway.
Of course, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent three-month shutdown saw the entire football calendar ripped up. These dates look to be the fairest compromise, even though matches will still be taking place while it is open. The Europa League and Champions League are scheduled for August, with the 2020-21 Premier League season pencilled in to begin the weekend of September 12, less than two months after the end of the previous campaign.
For Everton, it makes the challenge of rebuilding the squad even tougher. Carlo Ancelotti is in desperate need of recruits, but Marcel Brands also needs to ship a whole heap of unwanted players off the wage bill to help balance the books. Covid-19 has also impacted on the club’s finances, meaning the Dutchman will have to get even more creative in the transfer market.
The International Football Association Board has also approved the use of five substitutes next season. The use of five subs was brought in during the restart to aid player welfare, given they were expected to play a number of matches in a short space of time after the three-month break. With the end of 2019-20 virtually rolling straight into 2020-21 and further fixture congestion almost certain, IFAB say the rule can stay for now, though it is up to the Premier League whether they take up that option.
I’m fairly sure that they will, though the move would prove controversial as it seen to be adversely benefitting the bigger sides, who already enjoy the benefit of having larger squads.