The transfer window rule changes that could have a big impact on Sunderland AFC's business

The January transfer window has undergone some real change in recent years – with new rules set to affect Sunderland AFC.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 9:00 am
Updated Friday, 3rd January 2020, 9:17 am

The Black Cats are eyeing a host of new recruits this window, but what rules and regulations must they be aware of?

We take a look:

When does the League One transfer window close?

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These transfer changes are set to affect Sunderland AFC

The League One transfer window will close at 11pm on January 31.

While previous years have often seen the window shut at earlier times, this year will see a more traditional late finish.

Can Sunderland sign loan players after the League One transfer window closes?

No. Recent changes to loan windows mean that all temporary transfers must be completed by the close of the regular window.

Can Sunderland sign free agents after the League One transfer window closes?

Yes – but on certain conditions.

Another recent rule change, free agents can only be signed after the close of the window if their previous contract expired or was terminated before 11pm on January 31.

Therefore, a player released on February 1 would not be able to permanently sign for a new club until the summer window.

That’s why there is often a number of players who see their contracts paid-up in the final days of the window as they look to secure football elsewhere.

Do deal sheets come into play in the League One transfer window?

Yes, they do. Sunderland utilised this to great effect last year to seal the signing of Will Grigg, and will be able to employ similar tactics if needed again this term.

Deal sheets can only be requested between 9pm and 11pm, and give teams extra time to get transfers over the line.

Are there any restrictions on how many players Sunderland can sign in the League One transfer window?

Financial Fair Play rules will affect how much Sunderland can spend on wages, but won’t affect how many players they can bring in.

However, with loan deals likely this month, it’s worth remembering that only five loan players can be named in any matchday squad for a League One fixture.

Sunderland currently have one loan player – Marc McNulty – in their ranks.