ROME: Italian football is following the English example with not only a shorter summer transfer window but by introducing a ‘Boxing Day’ style of holiday football programme writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

This week’s general meeting of the Italian league decided that the transfer window will close on August 18 instead of the 31, just before the first day of competition.

This follows concern throughout the ‘big five’ leagues that continuing the window beyond the start of competition was both confusing and unsettling.

Officially, at international level, the window will remain open until the end of August but leagues and associations have the power to agree a shorter period within the formal dates. English football has already decided on that option in the summer for a first experimental year.

The holiday fixture change was confirmed by Giovanni Malago, president of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and interim head of the Italian federation. Traditionally Italian football shuts down over the Christmas/New Year period.

Malago said: “We will play December 22, 26 and 29 and then resume on January 20.”

The Spanish league is also considering trmming the summer transfer window.

Javier G√≥mez, ceo of LaLiga , has said a decision will be taken by the forthcoming clubs’ general assembly.