Dave Seddon's PNE Press View: Window change is common sense

It was good to see common sense prevailing when Premier League clubs voted on Thursday for an earlier close to next summer's transfer window.

Saturday, 9th September 2017, 10:30 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:24 pm
Preston striker Jordan Hugill

The next question is whether the Football League will choose to go down the same road when the topic is debated later this month?

Next year, the window in the Premier League will close – sorry slam shut – on the Thursday teatime ahead of the 2018/19 season’s start on Saturday, August 11.

The fun and frolics of the run-up to the deadline will still happen, however that will be before a competitive ball is kicked rather than with three games already played.

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Teams will still leave their business until the last minute, some will still miss the deadline, Jim White will still wear a daft tie.

What the Premier League vote has done is bring that forward so that it not a big distraction to the business on the pitch.

No longer will August be something of a phoney war, with it only feeling like the season is starting properly once we hit September.

Managers can work with their full squad from the word go, knowing what they have got.

The worry for the Premier League clubs – five were concerned sufficiently to vote against it and one more abstained – is that they will be allowed to sell players until August 31.

That is when the window shuts in most countries and has been closing here.

So clubs in Spain, France and Italy could still come shopping in England for three weeks.

The answer to that is for English clubs to stand firm and effectively close for outgoing business as well as incoming on August 9.

It will be interesting to see what the Football League clubs do, but you would think they will follow a similar path.

The EFL season starts a week earlier than that of the top flight.

So do the clubs shut for business on the eve of the campaign or do they bite the bullet and have a few more days trading to tie in with the Premier League deadline?

It is not perfect that there would be a week’s overlap but it would be better than the 25-day gap there was last month between the start of the season and the close of the window.

What the Premier League have voted for and what the EFL might do, would mean an avoidance of the state of uncertainty which hung over a number of clubs of late.

Bringing it close to home, in fact to the doorstep, we had the Jordan Hugill saga here at Preston.

The interest in him had been ongoing throughout the summer but came sharply into focus once the season started on August 5.

North End played five Championship games and one cup tie not knowing if Hugill would still be here come September 1.

They were not alone in that, more high-profile clubs having issues with certain players who wanted away.

A move of deadline day will mean such scenarios are concluded before the season starts.

According to Premier League officials, a big driver of the change of date was to avoid players playing two or three games for a club at the start of the season and then to move to another in the same division.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain featured for Arsenal in their 4-0 defeat at Liverpool in the last game before the close of the window.

Within a few days of that game, he was a Liverpool player.

Again, let’s bring such a scenario to Preston.

Hugill scored Preston’s winner against Reading at Deepdale on August 19.

Had they taken the £8m offer from the Royals for Hugill, he would this weekend be preparing to make a Reading debut.

On that subject, how the Deepdale crowd will react to the striker against Barnsley will be interesting.

Hugill has bridges to build in light of submitting that transfer request.

From the outside looking in, that was not the wisest of moves from him or those who represent him.

At least try and keep the request in-house rather than letting it leak out.

Getting on the scoresheet would smooth the waters with many.

Being seen to put in his usual graftwould also help repair anything which has come undone.

Hugill doesn’t strike me as someone who sulks and it is in his best interests to do well in the coming months.

With the window shut, the Barnsley game is the start of a four-month run without the safety net of a dip into the transfer market.

It is this squad which has to carry North End through until January.

Alex Neil seems content enough with it, although did admit to trying to bolster a couple of areas recently.

The numbers are there, that evident by the strength of the side which took to the field against Burnley in the Lancashire Senior Cup.

Every player who started had first-team experience and you can add to their number Daryl Horgan and Stephy Mavididi who were on international duty.

Midfield cover for Ben Pearson looks shy, time will tell whether that is the case.

John Welsh could be the answer there, once he has regained full fitness.