FIFA’s decision to preserve the emergency loan system until the end of next season has been welcomed by Nigel Clough, writes James Shield.
The Sheffield United manager described the announcement as “a victory for common sense” after identifying temporary transfers as a crucial tool in the development of young players.
“It’s makes perfect sense to me but, then again, I can’t understand why anyone would even want to get rid of them in the first place,” Clough said. “Everyone claims to be so concerned about improving home-grown, domestic players and this is one thing that can really help because nothing beats actually playing senior, competitive games.
“The gap between those and under-21 games can, sometimes, be huge.”
FIFA, football’s world governing body, had previously unveiled plans to outlaw emergency loans in a bid to “protect the sporting integrity of competitions” before confirming its u-turn at a recent meeting of its executive committee.
However, the decision is scheduled to be reviewed before the end of next summer despite opposition from the Premier League, the Football League, FIFA’s own players status committee and various associations beneath the UEFA umbrella.
“We always try and get young players out on loan, unless they are almost guaranteed a regular game for one reason or another, as part of their education,” Clough said. “Ideally, we’d have liked to have done that with Che (Adams) during the recent window but, because of injuries here, that wasn’t possible.
“It doesn’t mean we don’t rate them. Quite the contrary in fact.
“But at certain stages of the season it can be difficult to trying and bring a youngster, who by definition is still learning his trade, through. Whereas, no matter what level it’s at, the opportunity exists to get them into that first team, competitive environment somewhere else.
“Everyone, including ourselves, reaps the benefit.”