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10th Apr 2018

New FIFA policy could mean bad news for Chelsea

They might have to rethink their transfer policy

Reuben Pinder

This would completely transform the transfer market

It has been reported that FIFA are considering changing the rules of the loan system, or even scrapping it compleely.

The executive committee will debate new measures in October, after meetings between FIFPro [the players’ union], the European Club Association, the World League Forum and former stars such as Cafu, Zvonimir Boban, Edwin van der Sar and Marco van Basten.

Loans can obviously be hugely beneficial to young players in their development, as moving temporarily to a smaller club allows them to get more game time in competitive matches, but FIFA are reportedly concerned that the system is being exploited by clubs who farm players out on loan with no intention of keeping them in the long run.

One of the clubs who would be most affected by this potential rule change is Chelsea. The London club have 37 players out on loan this season, including Kurt Zouma, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Baker. It’s been Chelsea’s business model for years now, to loan players out to the Championship, smaller Premier League teams, or foreign sides such as Vitesse, before selling them on for a profit. FIFA have identified this as exploitation of the system, not using it for its intended purposes.

Juventus are guilty of using the same sort of strategy with their young players; currently have 50 players out on loan.

While action should be taken to prevent clubs from exploiting the system in this way, it is important that FIFA recognise the benefits that the loan system offers to smaller clubs who often can’t afford to pay transfer fees. The right balance must be found in any new rule changes.