The days of teams hoarding large numbers of players while recouping bountiful loan payments could be drawing to a close.
FIFA's Football Stakeholders Committee (FSC) has signed off on a number of measures aimed at reforming the transfer market. Among them are the introduction of loan quotas.
This season alone saw Premier League side Chelsea send 37 different players on loan to other clubs. Full internationals like Baba Rahman, Danny Drinkwater, Ross Barkley, Fikayo Tomori, Ruben Loftus Cheek and Marco Van Ginkel were included in that number.
A plan to curb player hoarding was first hatched in 2019 by world football's governing body, but were temporarily parked because of the pandemic.
Loan quotas will now come into effect in the summer 2022 transfer window, from July 1 that year.
The recommendations state:
- to prevent player hoarding and ensure that loans have a valid sporting purpose for youth development as opposed to commercial purposes, limitations on international loans of players aged 22 and older
- as of the 2022/2023 season, a limit of eight international loans in and out, going down to six by the 2024/2025 season, with a maximum of three loans in and three loans out between the same clubs.
FIFA's FSC also agreed to implement the following measures regarding the transfers of minors:
- Humanitarian exception: to examine the humanitarian exception in article 19 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) and whether it could be applied more flexibly or modernised to reflect “real-life” cases that are rejected.
- Trials: to explore a regulatory framework for trials in order to provide legal certainty and protect minors (and all footballers) from exploitation.
- Private academies: to explore the possibility of reviewing and modernising the regulation of private academies (currently covered by article 19bis of the RSTP) operating outside the scope of organised football.
- Safeguarding: to explore the possibility and feasibility of minimum protection standards for minors who transfer internationally.
The FSC have also vowed to "explore the possibility of recommending global financial governance guidelines to incentivise financial sustainability and stability, minimum club governance measures and the transparency of financial flows within the football transfer system."