The winter transfer window will slam shut next week and Premier League clubs are ready for another hectic deadline day.
Teams in England’s top-flight are chasing the additions needed to take their clubs forward and help them to achieve their objectives this season.
Meanwhile, some will be wanting to offload players to raise funds or free up space in their squads for new arrivals.
While no one plans to do so, the prospect of deals going through at the last minute is hugely exciting for supporters.
There’s nothing better than refreshing your computer to see if your club has made a last-minute signing, but if they’re to pull of a dramatic late deal then it’s crucial that the correct rules are followed.
Here’s the process that clubs must follow if they’re to register players after the window shuts.
When does the transfer window shut?
The January transfer window will close on Tuesday, January 31.
Clubs will have until 11pm to register their players and get their deals complete, otherwise they will be forced to wait until the summer.
However, there is a way that clubs can squeeze a signing through the system beyond that deadline.
What is a deal sheet?
If clubs are hoping to complete a signing after the 11pm deadline, they’ll need to complete and send off a signed deal sheet.
In short, a deal sheet is a form that allows a club to confirm that a deal has been reached in order to allow additional time to submit the remaining documentation.
If a club wants to submit a deal sheet, it must be submitted in full between 9pm and 11pm on the evening of transfer deadline day, otherwise the deal will fall through.
When is the latest that a new signing can be completed?
Providing that a deal sheet has been completed and submitted to the authorities, clubs will be afforded two extra hours to get the transfer signed off.
That means that for an 11pm deadline, clubs will have until 1am to submit the paperwork in full.
However if a club is wanting to complete an international transfer, they will need to comply with the FIFA Transfer Matching System deadline of midnight.
What do clubs actually have to do complete Premier League transfers?
To register a player, clubs have to send the Premier League all the documents relating to the transfer.
That includes the contract, the transfer agreement between the clubs involved in the deal, permission to work in the UK (if required), international clearance if transferring from abroad, as well as any transfer levy that may apply.
The Premier League’s Football Operations and Regulatory departments are staffed late into the night on deadline day to deal with any queries, but generally they will conclude the deal club to club and then submit the paperwork.
Once the paperwork from a club for a transfer is received, it is checked against the Premier League and Football Association rules. In some cases the transfer needs to comply with FIFA regulations, too.
The Premier League will then advise the club if the player is registered or not and whether the signing is pending further to the receipt of additional documentation, for example, international clearance or an amendment.
Do clubs actually use fax machines to complete Premier League transfers?
According to Premier League chiefs, the fax machine has been officially retired!
Clubs have a number of options in which to send documents through to the Premier League to confirm signings, including desktop faxes and scanned documents via email.
For more info on how a deal is done, visit the Premier League’s official website.
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