The new restrictions on loans of professional football players

At the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Portuguese League of 12/29/2017, formed by the group of sports companies that compete in the 1st and 2nd League, several amendments to the Rules of Competitions were debated and approved, with its entry into force expected for next season.

One of the new rules approved is that in each season a club can only lend (and, in reverse, receive on loan) one player from another club that plays in the same championship. Currently, it is possible to lend up to three players.

A second new rule is that each club will not be able to lend more than six players to clubs that compete in the same league, and cannot receive more than three players. Currently, the only existing limit is the one referred to in the previous paragraph.

In order to guarantee the compliance of these rules, in the case of a club that lends a player on loan, the above limitations shall apply to the player’s original transferring club and not to the club that loans the player on loan.

These changes were proposed by a group of clubs that play in the 1st League, denominated G-15, which FCP, SCP and SLB are not members.

It is well-known, and it is even assumed in public statements by some club officials with bigger budgets, that their player loan policy is guided by the awarding of rewards. The new loan restrictions strongly limits this practice and represent a strong disincentive to the hoarding of players conducted by clubs with larger budgets, as these clubs will have less opportunities to lend players to other Portuguese clubs.

To the extent that they contribute to the opening of the market, facilitating the hiring of players by clubs with lower budgets, this measures are a relevant step to promote the competitiveness of Portuguese football, which is always to be welcomed and praised.


Natacha Soares

APDD Associate n. 240

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