Earlier this week, a story surfaced from France Football suggesting FIFA officials are considering a reform to the loan system. Some believe the committee members, who are set to meet in October to discuss these new measures, could end up abolishing loans completely.
The purpose of the reform will be to stop larger clubs from monopolizing the market by purchasing young players and selling them off for higher prices a few seasons later. This business plan mirrors that of the real estate industry, where realtors purchase land to sell off when the market inflates.
The problem with treating players like assets is the interests of the club usually take precedence. Young players live in a constant state of precarity, unknowing as to where they may end up midway through the next season. Big money contracts lure young prospects like a Venus Flytraps, only to be chewed up and spit out by ruthless chairmen.
Many people agree loans provide teams an opportunity to proactively invest in the future while allowing young players the opportunity to see 90-minutes of football on a weekly basis. It also gives players a chance to prove themselves as managers say, “go on lad, you’re not quite ready for the first team yet, but go prove me wrong.” At its core, the loan system works wonderfully. Kyle Walker and Romelu Lukaku are prime examples of players who paved their way out on loan before staring in for some of the biggest teams in England.
Luckily, many clubs will see this removal of loans as nothing more than a mild inconvenience. Smaller clubs will have an easier time retaining their players until they are ready for the next level, and bigger clubs won’t jump into investments until players have proven themselves in lower leagues.
There are, however, some teams whose business model heavily depends on the loan system. Chelsea currently own just under 40 players who are currently out on loan. Many of these footballers will likely never wear a shirt with Chelsea’s crest on it. Roman Abramovich, Owner of Chelsea Football Club, is already working on a solution.
Introducing Somelsea FC
“It really wasn’t complicated,” said Abramovich at the unveiling of his new 37-man squad. “I don’t know why teams don’t do this more often?”
The new Chelsea outfit is set to compete in the Southern Football League, Division One South & West at the beginning of the 2018/19 season, in a journey to England’s top flight. Every loanee will be recalled after the FIFA World Cup in Russia and signed to Somelsea FC.
Much like Manchester City’s affiliation with New York City Football Club, Chelsea have found a loophole to a restricting transfer policy. The team designated to farming talent will fittingly be based out of Somerset, England. Although the team has not yet been formed, Abramovich has already named Marco van Ginkel as captain. The Dutch 25-year-old currently wears the armband for PSV while on loan from Chelsea.
“I am honoured to be named the first skipper of Somelsea,” said van Ginkel earlier today. “I definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, don’t see this as a step-down. It’s been a dream of mine to play in Somerset ever since I was little.”
Please note the above quotes are made up and created for satirical purposes.