The ‘emergency loan window’ re-opened this week for the last time.
What is the ‘emergency loan window’?
Since the 2002-03 season there have been two transfer windows in England
It was introduced by the Football League.
The ‘emergency loan window’ allows lower-league clubs to loan players outside of these windows.
It was seen as a win-win situation for both the clubs and the young players involved, with the latter being given much-needed exposure to competitive men’s football.
The term ‘emergency’ is a loose one, as they are often brought in to strengthen the squad rather than to cover an injury crisis.
There are roughly 500 of these loans in the Football League each year.
When does it operate?
The window has just re-opened until the end of March.
It was previously open from September 9 to November 25.
The exact dates vary a bit each year but it effectively fills the gap between the ‘official’ transfer windows.
Why are Fifa planning to scrap it?
They have never been happy with this loophole in English football and they say the loan window “affects the sporting integrity of the competitions”.
FIFA tried to ban it last season but agreed to give clubs one more year’s grace.
After this season, though, it is gone.
What affect will this have?
It will mean players can only go out on loan in the summer or in January.
This may increase the cost for cash-strapped lower league clubs.
Unde the current system they can get players in on a month-by-month basis, but they will forced to commit to longer loan spells and may be put off as a result.
The knock-on effect may mean that fewer young English players having the chance to experience proper men’s football.
It may also mean that lower league clubs will need to play their own youngsters earlier instead of going into the loan market and therefore forcing them to improve their own standards
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