SPORTS LAW AT THE CROSSROADS

FIFA attacks big club ‘warehousing’ of talent with 6 player loan limit proposal

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September 26 – Watch out the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Juventus because FIFA have announced ground-breaking plans to limit the number of players a club can loan out each season to prevent top talent being hoarded.

Football’s world governing body has proposed a maximum of six loans per club but has still to come to an agreement with the game’s other stakeholders – including club, league and player representatives – as to what the ceiling should ultimately be.

FIFA’s Football Stakeholders Committee met in London on Monday to formalise a set of recommendations designed to “increase the transparency” of transfer dealings.

While still to be approved by the FIFA Council, the move would force clubs such as Chelsea, who have a remarkable 40 players currently listed as being out on loan, to change their squad-building strategy.

The Football Stakeholders Committee agreed the as yet undetermined limit on loans should be introduced for “the purpose of youth development as opposed to commercial exploitation”.

The re-introduction of licenses for player agents by the summer of 2019 has also been agreed in principle after FIFA scrapped them in 2015.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino welcomed the anticipated changes, saying: “We have brought everyone to the table and all key actors of the industry have understood that we need to take action, leading today to this reform proposal.

“This is a significant first step towards achieving greater transparency, the effective enforcement of rules that will deliver millions in solidarity payments to clubs, and developing a consensus on how to tackle the issue of agents, loans and other key aspects of the transfer system.”

Outgoing Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, now at AC Milan, and Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore are among the members of the Football Stakeholders Committee.

The proposed reforms will be submitted for approval to the FIFA Council at its next meeting in Rwanda on October 26.

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