The summer transfer window in Europe would ordinarily already be open following what should have been the end of the 2019/20 season last month. But the coronavirus pandemic forced the suspension of football around the world and has delayed the conclusion of the campaign.
FIFA has done its best to grant flexibility during these difficult and unprecedented times, first allowing the indefinite extension of 2019/20 beyond the end of June so that domestic leagues could have more of a chance to finish and less pressure to cancel.
Now, the world football governing body has granted transfer window flexibility to try and minimise the impact on next season as there will only be a short gap between the end of 2019/20 and start of 2020/21 by the time the Champions League and Europa League have concluded.
FIFA announced this week that “associations following a dual-year calendar are permitted to commence the ‘first registration period’ for the 2020/21 season prior to the completion of the 2019/20 season, subject to certain conditions.”
It means that transfer windows can open sooner rather than later if a given league or national association sees fit to do so.
However, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has already made clear that there are no plans for the English window to open before the end of the delayed domestic season in late July.
The understandable logic there is that while it would provide clubs with more time to plan and do business ahead of next season, it could become an avoidable distraction and unsettling factor for both teams and players while important games are still ongoing.
The Italian federation has already confirmed that the Serie A transfer window won’t be open until 1 September and will close on 5 October.
It was recently reported that there are ongoing talks between different European leagues for deadlines to fall in unison, which would obviously have to be around early October.