“Chaos within football clubs” - John Ward’s look into the future
COLCHESTER United boss, John Ward, insists that FIFA’s ban of the emergency loan system, to kick in from 2014, will spread “chaos” and “pandemonium” among Football League clubs.
Ward has strong feelings against this new ruling, which will prevent clubs from loaning or loaning out players outside the two transfer windows (summer and January).
He believes that the smaller clubs will take a big hit, especially coming just a season after another new ruling which will restrict clubs to spend just 60% of their income on players’ salaries – it will be 65% next season before being reduced to 60% in 2013-14.
The combination of the two rules might even threaten the very existence of some League clubs, in Ward’s eyes.
And the U’s boss is even more worried about the impact that the loan upheaval will have on younger players, who will not be able to go out on short-term loans to gain first-team experience elsewhere, from two years time.
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“The lower leagues use it (emergency loan system) quite a lot, and quite well, so stopping it is going to cause absolute pandemonium, and chaos within football clubs,” insisted Ward
“The kind of loophole we have got with the emergency loan period, the football authorities have not liked at all. FIFA want to stop it, and they will stop it.
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“The next two years will be kind of no different to this year. We will be looking at loans with a number of players.
“Clubs like Carlisle have done this well, and clubs our size will need to do that. But when loans stop, it will spoil the whole thing.”
Ward has dipped into the emergency loan market, since the transfer window closed at the end of January, to bring in youngsters Freddie Sears and Gavin Massey on loan from West Ham and Watford respectively.
There is always the opportunity to bolster the squad, especially if a club suffers an injury crisis, most notably to a couple of keepers.
But that whole practise will be halted in 2014, and made worse by the reduced money to be spent on players’ wages.
Ward confirmed: “It’s a big hit for football, especially in the lower leagues. We are trying to deal with it as early as possible, by informing players and supporters.
“I need to cover the minimum next 12 months, and hopefully the next two years, with a bit of seniority to make sure that the development of these players has the time it requires, rather than throw them in too soon and so risk spoiling them.”