Shrewsbury Town can start to strike deals

Shrewsbury Town can formally seal the signings of free agents from tomorrow, after the Premier League and EFL confirmed its transfer window dates.

Brian Caldwell
Brian Caldwell

The regular transfer window for dealings between clubs both domestic and internationally opens on July 27.

Although a date for the new season has yet to be announced, this marks a step closer for clubs in League One and League Two as they look to return to action.

The window will close at 11pm on Monday, October 5, for international signings, while a deal has been made with the Premier League for an extended ‘domestic-only window’, allowing clubs to sign players from English clubs until 5pm on Friday, October 16.

Town chief executive Brian Caldwell explained: “We can now sign out of contract players from July 17 and the international transfer window is July 27 for anybody coming in cross border.

“Because the Premier League and Championship is still playing there is not much we can do with those players now, but at least the window will be open come tomorrow if there are any out-of-contract players of interest to Sam (Ricketts), then we can sign them and start to rebuild the squad again.”

The domestic extension allows both permanent and loan deals between Premier League and EFL clubs. However, top tier teams cannot make deals with each other. Any player signed by a club in the Championship play-offs will not be able to take part in the remaining games and is only available from the start of the 2020/21 season.

The the dates are ‘subject to formal ratification’ by FIFA.

Shrewsbury are yet to confirm any transfer business since the coronavirus pandemic ended the 2019/20 League One season.

Boss Sam Ricketts has said that the lack of clarity surrounding next season, including start dates and whether supporters will be permitted into stadia, has impacted on finances concerning transfer business.

Meanwhile, around 2,250 Shrewsbury supporters have backed the club by purchasing season tickets for the 2020/21 season. Town sold around 3,500 season tickets for the previous campaign.

The club’s early price offer, which expired at midnight last night, had been extended four times to allow fans whose finances have been affected by Covid-19 a chance to secure discount prices.

Shrewsbury have stated on several occasions the importance of fans committing for next season, given almost all other revenue streams have ground to a halt, and sales have risen in recent weeks as businesses and society steps up the return from the lockdown period.

Montgomery Waters Meadow CEO Caldwell said, in the interest of fairness, a line had to be drawn in regards to bringing the early bird offer to an end.

He also explained that season ticket holders are likely to be prioritised entry next season if a reduced capacity is permitted to watch League One action.

“The numbers are gradually going up. I think in the last week or two it’s certainly increased,” Caldwell continued.

“It’s been a difficult one, we’ve extended the deadline four times, but we have to draw a line at some point.

“In our heads we have to be fair to those who committed back in March to get the early bird offer four months ago.

“We have to be aware they committed four months ago. It’s only fair on them.

“Hopefully a few more come in. If a reduced crowd can be put in place then there is a possibility that priority can be given to season ticket holders should we be allowed.

“There’s an added benefit to being a season ticket holder this season.”

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