English Football League clubs have voted to bring forward the deadline for completing permanent deals in the summer transfer window, the governing body has announced.
EFL teams will now be unable to sign players from other clubs beyond 5pm on August 9 in a move that is aligned with the decision Premier League clubs opted to take in September.
The 72 sides in the Championship, League One and League Two will still be able to loan players in until the end of August, while they can also offload members of their squad to a club in any league where their window remains open.
“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,” EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said.
“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.”
Though the revised deadline day for both will be the same, the window will close for Premier League teams before their domestic season begins, with the EFL stating that the date falls on the Thursday after the opening round of league fixtures for its members.
The EFL also announced clubs had voted for a new policy with regards to the definition of a ‘full-strength team’ following the controversy surrounding Birmingham’s win over Huddersfield in April.
Terriers boss David Wagner made 10 changes for the contest after Huddersfield had already secured a play-off spot, and relegation-threatened Blues secured a 2-0 victory.
Birmingham would survive and finish two points clear of the bottom three while Huddersfield, who were ultimately not punished, secured promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.
The new guidance states: “For any League match played on or after the 4th Thursday in March (including season 2017-18), 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.”
The EFL also reiterated its stance on artificial pitches and stated any National League team that wins promotion to League Two must agree to use a grass surface.
Should that criteria not be met by the nominated date, the club that finishes 23rd in League Two, and would otherwise by relegated, would retain their place in the division.