BREAKING: FIFA to limit player loans and agent commissions

September 25, 2019
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FIFA has agreed steps that will limit the number of players clubs can send out on loan from next season and will also limit the amount of money paid to agents in commissions, world football’s governing body announced on Wednesday.

In a statement, FIFA said it had taken “a series of key steps to protect the integrity of the system and prevent abuses” following a meeting of its Stakeholders Committee.

From next season, the number of international loans out and in permitted per club will be limited to eight, with that figure dropping progressively to six by the 2022/23 season. The number of players that can be loaned between the same two clubs will be capped at three.

However, the cap will only be applied to players aged over 21, or “non club-trained” players aged 21 and under.

The measures are aimed at curtailing “abusive and excessive practices”, with FIFA citing the hoarding of players by clubs and the distortion of competition when teams bring in several players on loan from a bigger club with whom they have a close relationship.

“Players’ development is suffering as they are moved from one club to another with no clear career plan. The current loan system has facilitated player hoarding with clubs putting numerous players on their books and then loaning them out to other clubs,” FIFA said in a confidential document seen by AFP.

The measures appear to be aimed at clubs such as Chelsea, who have habitually had vast numbers of players out on loan in recent seasons.

Monaco have as many as 18 players currently loaned out, including seven at Belgian side Cercle Brugge.

The recommendations will be endorsed at the upcoming FIFA Council meeting in Shanghai, scheduled for October 24.

However, they will not immediately apply to domestic loans, with the document stating that member associations will have three years in order to implement rules on a loan system “in line with FIFA principles”.

Meanwhile, in an effort to curb the amount of money going out of the game and into the pockets of agents, FIFA stakeholders also agreed to limit commissions as “conflicts of interest plague football’s transfer system”.

As a result, a selling club will not have to pay more than 10 percent of a transfer fee received to an agent acting on their behalf.

Agents representing a player will be entitled to a maximum of three percent of that player’s total remuneration and another three percent for representing the buying club.

In 2016, Mino Raiola was paid 27 million euros for his role in Paul Pogba’s transfer from Juventus to Manchester United for a then world-record fee of over 100 million euros.

The new measures are designed to limit “financial incentive of agents to engineer a possible transfer” and to create “more transparent and objective forms of remuneration”, the document stated.

“Certain measures will certainly not please some agents, but there was a consensus on these measures and there have been discussions going back more than a year,” a FIFA official told journalists at the organisation’s Zurich headquarters.

“This is an important step towards making transfers more moral.”

The measures will also be endorsed at the FIFA Council in Shanghai.

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