Premier League loosens loan rules
On Tuesday, the English Premier League voted against a motion to ban player loans between clubs with the same owner.
This decision that will undeniably reshape football. It opens the door to a closed talent circulation system – a move that could be interpreted as a license to cheat.
The vote held on Tuesday was 8 to 12 – out of the 6 to 14 needed.
This move may be Newcastle’s magic golden ticket. It means that the club will be able to use the player pools of other clubs owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) in the upcoming transfer windows.
From now on, Al-Hilal or al-Ettifaq can provide Newcastle with players without affecting their financial fair-play status and discarding the reciprocity principle. The door is open for Saudi clubs to purchase players and immediately loan them to Newcastle without significantly impacting Newcastle’s financial standing.
The practice of loaning players out from affiliated clubs is not a new thing in itself, but this is different. This decision enables talent to flow in closed circles, all the while bypassing mechanisms for eliminating financial imbalances. This decision appears to clash with fair-play financial regulations.
It wasn’t a surprise that the clubs that voted against the motion are the ones involved in multi-club ownership in the Premier League. Among the big names are Manchester City, Chelsea, Nottingham Forest and Everton.
This decision has bigger consequences and raises questions about how FIFA and UEFA are doing to stop clubs from getting too powerful. It remains to be seen how the international governing bodies will react and how much interest there is in doing so.
While a cheater with a license to cheat is still a cheater, this marks an important step in the football community’s growing drift away from its core principles and truths.
The Premier League had set up some temporary rules to try to protect the integrity of the competition. They were planning to come up with a more long-term strategy later on. Now it’s unclear if that long-term plan will end up happening at all.
Things are now just up in the air, and they still need a way to make sure the league stays competitive.