EFL: Transfer window to close on Thursday, 9 August

Aston Villa striker Lewis Grabban
Lewis Grabban joined Aston Villa on loan from Bournemouth on the final day of the January transfer window

EFL clubs have voted through proposals to shut the summer transfer window for permanent transfers on Thursday, 9 August at 17:00 BST.

That brings the 72 EFL clubs in line with the Premier League, who voted in favour of closing the window before their season starts last September.

The 2018-19 EFL season is scheduled to start on Saturday, 4 August.

Clubs outside the top flight will still be able to sign players on loan until 31 August.

They will also be able transfer players out to clubs in leagues where the window remains open, with European leagues still able to buy and sell until 31 August.

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: "After discussing the options throughout the course of the last few months, I'm pleased that the matter has been determined by clubs ahead of the start of next season.

"This new approach will give clubs and managers the stability they crave earlier in the season whilst also providing the flexibility to add to their squads after the traditional deadline until the end of month if required."

New full strength rules

Additionally the EFL clubs have agreed to new regulations regarding team selection at the end of the season.

The EFL wrote to Huddersfield Town last May to ask for "their observations" after boss David Wagner made 10 changes for a game at struggling Birmingham City in the closing weeks of the season after the Terriers had confirmed their Championship play-off berth.

Blackburn counterpart Tony Mowbray criticised Wagner's decision at the time, saying "everybody should be trying to win every game".

Blues beat Town 2-0 and went on to stay in the Championship, with Rovers going down.

The new regulations, which are in effect from this season onwards, state: "For any league match played on or after the fourth Thursday in March any team sheet for a league game should include at least 10 outfield players who featured on the team sheet for the league match before."

Artificial pitches

Under current guidelines synthetic or artificial pitches are not permitted in the EFL and discussions on whether to change this will take place at their Annual General Meeting in June.

In December 2017, three National League clubs with artificial pitches spoke to BBC Sport about the ramifications of earning promotion. The current rules mean that should they decide not to change to a grass pitch they would be relegated to National League North or South rather than get promoted.

The EFL said in Thursday's statement: "Any National League club with aspirations to play in the EFL in 2018-19 was required to submit an application by 31 December 2017, confirming that in the event of achieving promotion, they would agree to comply with the qualification criteria, which includes the requirement for a grass playing surface. All National League clubs that have made an application have agreed to meet this criteria.

"Should any National League club be promoted to the EFL but fail to meet the criteria by the nominated date, it will result in the 23rd club in League Two retaining its status."

Goalline technology

Goalline technology, which has been in operation in the Championship for the first time this season, will also be used in the League One and Two play-off semi-finals and final in May.


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