FIFA announced regulatory changes yesterday concerning international loans of players with the aim to develop young players, promote competitive balance and prevent “hoarding”.
What is going to change?
As of July 1 2022 and if approved by its council, the following changes will be applied:
There must be a written agreement defining the terms of the loan, in particular its duration and financial conditions
The minimum duration of a loan is the interval between two registration periods and the maximum duration one year
Prohibition of sub-loaning a professional player who is already on loan to a third club
Limitation of maximum three players loaned out to and loaned in from a single club
Limitation on a club’s total number of loans per season:
From 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, a club may have a maximum of 8 professionals loaned out and in, 7 in the season after that from 1 July 2024 on, a maximum of 6.
Two groups of players are exempt from these rules:
Players aged 21 and younger
Club-trained players (definition yet to be defined)
These rules apply to international loans. At a domestic level, FIFA’s member associations are granted a transition period of three years to implement a loan system that aligns with these rules.
Since 2017, FIFA has been working on the reform of the transfer system to improve its transparency and integrity. As part of this reform, FIFA will regulate the activities of agents and enforce the FIFA clearing house as a “central bank” to process all training compensation payments.
The regulations limiting loans are meant to prevent elite clubs from excessive player hoarding which reduces the pool of available talent and access to talent for less wealthy rivals. By limiting these possibilities, FIFA aims to encourage the development of home-grown talent and the competitive balance in football.
Chelsea, known for almost monopolising the market with all the best young players currently has 21 players out on loan but most of them are under 21 or at loaned out at a domestic level, and are therefore exempt from these regulatory changes.