Garlick welcomes transfer ruling

RICHARD Garlick has welcomed the change in Premier League rules which will see next summer's transfer window close before the start of the season.

Albion's Director of Football Administration confirmed that the Club voted for the change having long championed the earlier close to the window.

"We've always wanted it," said Richard.

"I joined the club seven years ago and the first thing Jeremy Peace asked me to do was to prepare a paper on the issue.

"We've been real supporters of this move for a long time."

Richard has been reflecting on the decision taken at last week's meeting which was passed by the Premier League with one abstention. And he does not see it impacting on Albion's transfer strategies while the window remains open.

Garlick worked his way through one of the busier summers of his Hawthorns experience so far with seven incoming deals sorted and a host of loans and contractual renewals completed.

Clubs will now have to complete their signings by 5pm on the Thursday before next season begins but he does not believe it will alter too much the 'rhythm' of the window.

He said: "I don't think it will change anything for us in the transfer window itself. That will always go through three phases.

"The first is the deals you can get done at the start - the player wants to come, his club want to sell and we want to buy. Jay Rodriguez was a classic example of that this summer.

"Then you get the 'hostile' deals which are the second phase....a club doesn't want to sell, a player wants to leave, the price is the subject of dispute and so on.

"The third phase is the final two weeks when the clubs see the deadline looming and you start to get movement.

"I do not think that pattern will alter just because we have brought the deadline forward.

"We have a plan going through the spring period; you know what you want to do for the following season. But the best laid plans rarely survive the first engagement. I don't see any of that changing.

He acknowledged that the pre international break fixtures had seen players miss games because "rightly or wrongly, they protect themselves" although the Baggies have confirmed captain, Jonny Evans, was troubled by a hamstring problem for the first four fixtures.

Efforts to change the system had fallen down in the past, said Richard, because of the fear that foreign clubs would enjoy a competitive advantage because their transfer windows remained open.

"The Premier League is the most powerful league in the world. We should be leading on this and that's what we've done. I think you will see a domino effect now.

"I would be amazed if that did not happen.

"The most important thing is the integrity of the competition. It's wrong for the clubs, for the League for the 'brand' that you have the first three round of games with some of the best players sat watching the games. We're the wealthiest league in the world and we should be able to stop that."

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