FIFA to restrict player loans to prevent elite clubs ‘warehousing’ talent

January 21 – FIFA are poised to bring in radical new rules designed to stop the richest clubs hoarding players and help home-grown youth development.

Starting in July, the number of international loan deals in and out of clubs will be capped at eight at any given time during a season. That will be reduced to seven a year later and to six from 1 July 2024.

The move still requires ratification from the FIFA Council but will go some way to prevent the type of player hoarding that exists at many elite clubs. Chelsea, for instance, currently have 21 players out on loan, eight of whom are at foreign clubs.

Crucially, the regulations will not cover domestic loans although FIFA expects individual governing bodies to adapt their regulations accordingly within the next three years.

Further changes, as part of wider reform of the transfer system, have also been introduced.

These include a minimum loan deal of between two transfer windows and a maximum of one year, a limit on the number of loans per season between the same clubs and the banning of ‘sub-loaning’ to a third club.

FIFA hopes the process will help improve the development of young players and promote ‘competitive balance’.  The incoming regulations will not apply to players aged 21 and younger.

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