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FIFA set to clamp down on big club player loan deals

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By Andrew Warshaw

September 13 – FIFA are to put a stop to elite clubs sending unlimited numbers of players out on loan, according to reports from Germany.

Squad sizes and excesses in the transfer market have long been a thorny subject and, according to Bild Sport, FIFA plans to limit the number of players out on loan to eight pending agreement from other stakeholders like FIFA and the European Clubs Association.

In addition, a maximum of three players would be allowed to be loaned to the same club at the same time, the exception being those under the age of 21 who have been trained by their home club and have been under contract there for an extended period of time.

If the report is true it will particularly hit clubs like Chelsea who have made a habit of buying up players and then sending them out on loan. Juventus are another who have used the practice consistently. Manchester City similarly, with the multi-club model of their City Football Group owners, could also have their player development strategy impacted.

Loan deals are designed in theory to allow young players to gain invaluable experience elsewhere but many, not least FIFA president Gianni Infantino, believe the system exploits the transfer window to an alarming extent.

How the idea would affect clubs with satellite teams is one of many conundrums but the system clearly needs to be better managed. As it stands now, it undermines the integrity of the game and shouldn’t be there simply to benefit a few elite clubs who have the resources to accumulate any number of players and farm them out to get them off the wage bill.

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