Fifa is close to launching its biggest ever reform of the transfer system, including new tough curbs to diminish the power of player agents. A “clearing house” to make transfer dealings more transparent – flagging up suspicious payments to third parties – was rubber stamped yesterday by football chiefs reviewing a dossier of proposals.
Restrictions will include loan deals, with “the number of loans per season and between each club” set to be limited. Concerns have been raised that bigger clubs systematically loan players to increase their commercial value in a future sale, rather than in an effort to develop them.
Controversial algorithms to fix player prices could also still feature as part of a new “electronic transfer system”, despite one Premier League chief telling Telegraph Sport last week the plan was “ridiculous”.
Fifa said yesterday that its “landmark” reforms had been approved by its stakeholder committee, which features representatives of clubs, leagues, players and national associations.
Gianni Infantino, the Fifa president, has been seeking ways for years to protect players and clubs from controversial practices in the global transfer system.
The so-called “clearing house” is a response to growing concern about the inability to track payments and fears that some parties are missing out on their fair share of transfer deals, particularity in “solidarity” payments owed to clubs who have trained players in their youth systems.
Agents will be subjected to a new registration system, with player representatives expected to pass an exam to gain a licence. As it stands, no professional qualifications required to become an agent.
Infantino said in a statement: “This is a significant first step towards achieving greater transparency, the effective enforcement of rules that will deliver millions in solidarity payments to clubs, and developing a consensus on how to tackle the issue of agents, loans and other key aspects of the transfer system.”
The details of the reform package are set to be presented at the next meeting of Fifa’s ruling Council on October 26. If approved, it will become the “basis for continued negotiations” before they are turned into “concrete regulations.”