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FIFA set to introduce new loan rules to improve ‘competitive balance’ and prevent ‘hoarding’

FIFA have announced plans to introduce new rulings in terms of loan deals in a bid to provide greater ‘competitive balance’.

Football’s governing body has revealed that changes to the loan system are ready to be implemented from this summer, with the rulings hopeful of improving the ‘development of young players, competitive balance and prevent the hoarding of talent’ among top clubs.


The rulings were passed by the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee last year and will now be sent for approval to the FIFA Council in the coming months, with the hope that the changes can be in place for the 2022 summer transfer window.

The changes have been created as FIFA look to end the trend of the world’s wealthiest clubs ‘hoarding’ talent, with leading sides having often signed vast numbers of players before sending them on various loans.

Whilst some return to play a prominent role, others are sold on for huge profits without ever making an appearance for their parent club and FIFA are keen to try and restore balance to the transfer market.

Chelsea have been leading exponents of stockpiling talent in recent windows and the west Londoners currently have 21 players out on loan. The changes will see these numbers drastically reduced in the coming campaigns.

Detailing the changes on the organisation’s official website, FIFA have said the rulings will include.

  • The requirement of a written agreement defining the terms of the loan, in particular its duration and financial conditions.
  • A minimum loan duration, being the interval between two registration periods, and a maximum loan duration, being one year.
  • A prohibition on sub-loaning a professional player who is already on loan to a third club
  • A limitation on the number of loans per season between the same clubs: at any given time during a season, a club may only have a maximum of three professionals loaned out to a single club and a maximum of three professionals loaned in from a single club
  • A limitation on a club’s total number of loans per season.

FIFA’s plans are to reduce the number of permitted loans from eight to seven for the 2023/24 season, before another reduction to six loanees for the following campaign. However, players under the age of 21 and club-trained players will be exempt from the limitations.

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