CumbrianRam Posted December 21, 2011 Share Posted December 21, 2011 FIFA has delivered a major setback to Football League clubs with a ruling that will outlaw the emergency loan system under which as many as 400 players move clubs each season. The Daily Telegraph can reveal that after six years during which 2,400 players have moved under the system, the world governing body has ruled that emergency loans breach rules governing transfer windows and will be banned from 2014. In a conciliatory move, however, Fifa has agreed to canvas opinion on whether the transfer-window rules should be amended, something the Football League has long advocated. Fifa said it would conduct research to see if there is support for a “relaxation” of the rules. Fifa’s ruling surprised the League and the Football Association, which were told that the issue was of concern in Zurich only six weeks ago. League chief operating officer Andy Williamson wrote to clubs this week to inform them of the issue, which has the potential to have a huge impact on the football economy in England. Related Articles The move will hit the 72 Football League clubs who rely on emergency loans to cover unexpected injuries or weaknesses in their squads outside the two transfer windows, which are in the summer and January. It will also affect Premier League clubs who rely on loaning out promising young players who are short of first-team experience to clubs in the lower divisions throughout the season. Jonjo Shelvey is a recent high-profile beneficiary of the emergency system, having been loaned from Liverpool to Blackpool for two months this winter. After impressing at Bloomfield Road, where he played well enough to pick up a Championship player-of-the-month award, he was recalled to Liverpool and was an impressive starter in the weekend victory over Aston Villa. Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, is also a proponent of the loan system, admitting that it helps him to keep happy young players not in the first team, particularly following the club’s elimination from the Europa League. Williamson and the FA’s director of football services Jonathan Hall were summoned to Zurich six weeks ago to discuss the issue, which Fifa says breaches its guidelines on transfer windows. They were called to appear before Fifa’s player status committee, which is chaired by former FA chairman Geoff Thompson. Williamson and Hall are understood to have argued that the emergency loan system is tailored to England’s unique football economy, with 48 clubs in the third and fourth tiers fully professional despite small gates. Fifa rejected the argument, and this week informed the Football League and the FA of its decision. In a twist that could reach far down the football pyramid, Fifa said the ruling should apply to all levels of paid football, including Saturday afternoon park games. The Football League has consistently opposed transfer windows since their introduction, arguing that they prevent clubs from cashing in on players outside the windows, which has an economic impact and limits managers’ choices. In a letter to the 72 clubs sent this week and seen by The Daily Telegraph, Williamson states: “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. “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.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/news/8969167/Football-League-clubs-dealt-huge-blow-after-Fifa-decides-emergency-loans-contravene-its-rules.html Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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