Thursday, 22 December 2011

FIFA close emergency loan loophole

Football's world governing body have shocked the Football League with a new ruling that will see emergency loan moves banned from 2014.

Currently over 400 players move outside of the two transfer windows each season, allowing top-end clubs to give youngsters first team playing time in the lower divisions and allowing those lower league clubs access to a rich vein of new talent.

The Football League, long-time critics of the transfer window ideology, lodged complaints with FIFA but they were turned-down. The ruling could see a huge impact on the football economy of England, where there are 72 fully professional league clubs across four divisions. The Football League argued that the emergency loan system is a crucial tool for the 48 third and fourth tier clubs, who rely on the loan system due to their small incomes.

Leicester City have long used the loan system to their advantage, with current manager Nigel Pearson including many young prospects in his League One winning squad. Liverpool's Jay Spearing, Manchester United's Tom Cleverley and Fulham's David Stockdale all appeared as loanees for the Foxes during Pearson's previous two-year reign.

FIFA have agreed, however, to look again at the concept of transfer windows, as confirmed by the Football League's chief operating officer Andy Williamson in a letter to the 72 English league clubs.

“I have to advise you that, despite direct representations from both the Football Association and ourselves, Fifa have concluded that our domestic Emergency Loans (and Youth Loans) are contrary to the international statutes covering the Status and Transfer of Players," wrote Williamson, “The effect of this ruling is that short-term loans will not be allowed during the 'closed’ periods between transfer windows, starting from season 2014/15.

“However, Fifa has indicated that they are prepared to review the current international rules and will undertake research to ascertain whether there is support around the world for any relaxation in the present transfer window restrictions.

“The League will continue to do everything within its power to retain as much flexibility for clubs as possible in this critical area.”
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