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Biggest own goal in Premier League history? Why managers blew it with deadline day silence

COMMENT: Okay. Stay calm. Deep breaths. Count to five. Slowly. One... Two... Thr-...sod it. Poch! Puel! Premier League managers! What on earth is wrong with you...?

Now? Now you want to sound the warning? Ring the bell? The horse has bolted. The ship has sailed. You could've stood up. Spoken out. Stopped this madness in it's tracks.

Instead you lot just plodded on - and allowed the pen pushers. The finger waggers. You allowed them to move the transfer deadline. To hand advantage to every major European rival on the continent. Why? Because some just don't like the rumour mill. They hate transfer talk. Yet, for all their sanctimony, this ridiculous decision will only intensify the hype around the transfer window. Unsettle the most sought-after players even more. Which, finally, is now dawning upon Premier League managers up and down the country.

To cycle back, this summer's transfer window will shut on August 9. Oh, but only in the Premier League. The rest of Europe will run to the end of the month - as usual. Real Madrid. Barcelona. PSG. They can all pick off the best available from the Premier League - and no English club can sign a replacement. It really is the stuff of Mensa.

Mauricio Pochettino, whose Tottenham voted for the deadline change, suddenly had an epiphany last week: "It is a massive advantage for the rest of Europe.

"I don't believe that it is a good idea to finish the transfer market before Europe does."

No, really Poch? Wow. And you're just seeing this now?

Of course the Argentine is worried. Dele Alli. Harry Kane. Indeed, half his first-choice XI are being discussed inside the boardrooms of Europe's biggest clubs. It's one thing having to consider offers with time to find a replacement. It's something completely new when that bid arrives with zero chance of identifying and signing a successor. Why he allowed Daniel Levy to vote 'yes' only Pochettino knows.

But the Spurs manager wasn't alone. Also on Friday, Claude Puel expressed his concerns. Again, like Spurs, Puel's Leicester City was another to vote for change.

“I think it's not a good thing," said the Frenchman. "Some players can be disturbed by this."

It's a mind blower that it took to the final days of the season for managers to speak up. And the two to voice concerns are from clubs which wanted this to happen. One of the biggest champions of the whole scheme was Mr Integrity himself, Arsene Wenger - and he won't even be involved this summer! Manchester United, Manchester City, Watford, Swansea and Crystal Palace were those dead against moving the deadline.

At least the penny has dropped. But it's all come too late. Potentially, we're looking at one of the biggest own goals since the Premier League's formation.

Three weeks. Three weeks Premier League clubs will be exposed to the rest of Europe. And with no chance of fighting back.

And we're not talking about offers from China. Beijing isn't Madrid. And Tianjin TEDA isn't Barcelona. When they were throwing banks at players 18 months ago, China's Premier League clubs had the entirety of English football rattled. Diego Costa and Chelsea, anyone? That saga ran beyond the January deadline into February, when the Chinese window closes.

Try the same drama this August - only on steroids. The money will still be tempting. The lifestyle more so. And there'll be no concerns about the standard of competition. Whether it's Spain, Italy, France or Germany, if the offer arrives, there really is very little to dissuade any decent Premier League talent from leaving.

And the media will cover it, with white hot intensity. When those Chinese clubs were throwing their weight around it was wall-to-wall coverage. Suddenly we were experts on the ins and outs of their Premier League. Their stars. Even the exchange between the yuan and the pound. Do those who voted for the deadline shift really believe everything will simply shut down on August 10?

Again, try February 2017 - only on steroids. Real Madrid. Barca. Bayern. These clubs drive ratings, clicks, views... whatever. Fresh from the madness of deadline day, the Premier League have just delivered two extra weeks of transfer hype and speculation. Another fortnight for the next Virgil van Dijk or Diego Costa saga to brew and boil over.

Nothing will change. The rumours will roll on. Only now each English club competing in Europe can be weakened by their direct competition. And with no recourse.

Congratulations Premier League purists, you've really showed 'em.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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