It is that time of the year when our focus starts to move from the fantastic season we have just witnessed to the new season soon to start.
Of course one of the things about being a Manchester City fan is there are decisions to make now regarding whether to risk making a booking for a hotel on the off chance we may reach a final or should we wait for prices to get higher? Anyone brave enough to book a hotel in Istanbul for the 2020 Champions League Final?
The wild card in all of this planning remains the TV companies and the fact they have pick of certain fixtures – at incredibly short notice – meaning that sometimes all we know at this stage is the week the fixture is likely to take place. We are only fans after all.
The 2019/20 season will be different for us in one major way. This is the first season where we have an agreed Winter Break, partly in preparation for some of the challenges which lie ahead like a Winter World Cup in Qatar in 2022. The Winter Break will mean that the 5th Round of the FA Cup will be a purely midweek affair, to allow 2 weeks rest in February.
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Let us now turn to look at some of the key fates in more detail – so diaries at the ready!
6 June – The Annual Premier League Meeting takes place – suddenly rendering 2018/19 as last season and meaning 2019/20 becomes “this season”.
13 June – The Premier League Fixture List is published for 2019/20 but of course most of our games are likely to be moved for TV so put these dates in your diary in pencil!
14 June – The Copa America starts in Brazil
21 June – The Africa Cup of Nations starts in Egypt
1 July – Manchester City First Team Report Back for Training
17 July – City play West Ham United in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Nanjing
20 July – City play in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Shanghai
27 July – City play Yokohoma F Marinos in Japan
3/4 Aug – City play Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in the Community Shield
8 Aug – Premier League Transfer Window closes
10 Aug – Premier League 2019/20 season begins!
A few dates to book hotels if you are brave:
1 March 2020 – Carabao Cup Final at Wembley Stadium
23 May 2020 – FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium
30 May 2020 -UCL Final at Istanbul
The Transfer Window Dates
The English transfer window is now operating somewhat out of sync of other major leagues thanks to decisions made by the EFL and Premier League. This makes the whole business quite confusing and may mean Jim White has to wear his yellow tie for a number of dates.
The English Premier League Transfer Window is now officially open and English clubs can in fact register new players. But any players need to be from other English clubs as the FIFA Matching System which underpins all International Transfers does not open until 9 June. So no deals can be completed until that system is open and operating.
Other Leagues have selected different dates for their Transfer Windows to open and close. The Spanish Transfer Window opens on 2 July, the French window opens on 11 June and the German on 1 July. So when you understand that you can see why there is no real impetus for Clubs abroad to be concluding deals at the moment – that is why the transfer window is so quiet!
The transfer windows for these leagues all close on 31 August – some 3 weeks after the Premier League window closes. Except the Italian League and their window seems to slam shut on 18 August!
So Premier League Clubs will stop buying players on 8 August but can still sell players abroad until 31 August in some cases! As I said Jim White will have to wear his famous yellow tie for a number of different dates!