Fifa agrees to limit loan deals and re-introduce agent regulation

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Fifa agrees to limit loan deals and re-introduce agent regulation
Aston Villa and England striker Tammy Abraham is one of 40 Chelsea players on loan this season

Fifa plans to limit the number of players a club can loan out each season to prevent teams stockpiling talent.

Football’s governing body had proposed a maximum of six loans per club.

But is still has to come to an agreement with the game’s other stakeholders – including club, league and player representatives – as to what the limit should be.

The proposed new regulation could affect the likes of Chelsea, who have 40 players on loan this season.

Fifa will also re-introduce the regulation of agents by summer 2019.

The plans were endorsed by representatives from clubs, the World Leagues Forum, players ‘union’ Fifpro as well as member associations and confederations at a meeting on Monday, Fifa said. Its full council will look to sign off the proposals next month.

President Gianni Infantino has previously said he was “concerned about the huge amount of money flowing out of the football industry”, and hopes the plans will improve the transparency of the transfer system.

Since 2015, anyone can become a football agent, and Premier League clubs have paid them £211m in the past year, an increase of £37m on the previous year.

But Fifa’s proposals to cap agents’ fees have been dismissed for the time being.

Chelsea have previously said they “don’t send players out [on loan] because we are trying to recover money, we send them because we want them to play and develop”.

But the Fifa Football Stakeholders Committee has agreed the as yet undetermined limit should be introduced for “the purpose of youth development as opposed to commercial exploitation”.

It is hoped a figure can be agreed on as part of plans to be phased in over the next two years.

Other regulations include creating a “clearing house” to process transfers with the aim of protecting football’s integrity and avoiding fraudulent conduct.

And there will be a big increase in solidarity payments to lower-league clubs who have trained players but then lose them to clubs from other countries.

The principles of the reform package will be submitted to the Fifa Council at its next meeting on 26 October.

Infantino said: “We have brought everyone to the table and all key actors of the industry have understood that we need to take action, leading today to this reform proposal.

“This is a significant first step towards achieving greater transparency, the effective enforcement of rules that will deliver millions in solidarity payments to clubs, and developing a consensus on how to tackle the issue of agents, loans and other key aspects of the transfer system.”

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