FIFA Set New Limit on Loans to Prevent ‘Player Hoarding’

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Football’s world governing body has announced new regulations, which will become enforceable from July 2022, on incoming and outgoing international loans between clubs.

In a statement, FIFA said their decision is “firmly anchored on the following core objectives: developing young players, promoting competitive balance and preventing the hoarding of players”.

FIFA Set New Limit on Loans to Prevent ‘Player Hoarding’

New Loan Rules

To achieve their goals, FIFA has set the limit of professional players arriving and exiting on loan to eight. This will be reduced to seven for the 2023/2024 season and then six from the 2024/25 season and onwards.

The world governing body will also require teams to have a written agreement defining the terms of the loan, such as financial conditions. Another definition includes clearly stating the registration period that the loan will operate under.

International loans that last for more than one year and sub-loaning a player when they are already on loan to a third club will both be prohibited.

One other key rule change is that a club may only have a maximum of three players loaned to and from a single club.

While these new rules are directed towards international loans, FIFA has told FAs that they must update their regulations within three years to fall into line. As a result, domestic loans are expected to operate similarly to international loans from July 2025 at the latest.

Players aged 21 and younger, as well as club-trained players, are exempted from these rules.

Transfer Impact

Clubs will no doubt have to adapt to the new rules, especially the elite who accumulate players from around the world.

Chelsea currently has 21 players listed as on loan, but a number of these will fall under the ‘exempted’ tag due to their age and being club-trained. Nevertheless, these new laws may force Chelsea’s hand to find permanent homes for the likes of Baba Rahman, Teimoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater and Michy Batsuayi.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have 14 professional players on loan, Norwich has 13, Brighton has 11 and Leeds United has ten.

The aim is to see all these numbers decrease. An unintentional impact may, however, be unwanted players finding new homes where they can either develop themselves or rebound from a bad spell at a club.


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