Do Watford flout the 'emergency' loan system?
I was reading the programme notes of Hartlepool United chairman Ken Hodcroft this week when I learnt that FIFA will be doing away with the 'emergency` loan rule for the 2014/15 season.
At present the rule permits clubs in the Football League to sign a player on loan for a maximum of 93 days between 'emergency loan windows`.
Good riddance as far as I`m concerned.
As Hodcroft himself points out, it merely helps the big clubs and continues to widen the gap between the big clubs and the small ones.
You only need to look at the callous flesh-picking of Portsmouth`s best players with both Eric Huseklepp and Liam Lawrence being snapped up by Birmingham City and Cardiff City respectively. Both clubs are doing well, so where`s the emergency? They`re both simply taking advantage of the situation at Fratton Park to add players they would otherwise not be able to bring in.
And, before you think it, I`m not being hypocritical because here is where Watford come in. I don`t like the way we do it either. Since the January Transfer Window closed we have signed Tomasz Kuszczak, Marcello Trotta and Alex Kacaniklic on loan.
Whilst all three arrive in areas where we have been poor this season, they all also arrive in areas where we have players, albeit young players, and here`s the crux of the issue. It`s not right firstly that big clubs can farm their youngsters out on loan for 93 days to 'develop` them without risk. Secondly it`s not right that we are putting the development of other club`s players ahead of that of our own.
In the case of Kacaniklic and Trotta the chances are that they will go on to be better players than those we have in their positions, i.e Michael Bryan, Matty Whichelow, Piero Mingoia or Gavin Massey. That is by virtue of the fact they have been picked up by a Premier League club, however, they will spend a maximum of 93 days at Watford this season, Bryan, Whichelow, Mingoia and Massey are ours for much longer.
There is of course the downside that if a young player is not getting games with his parent club he will have just the summer and January Transfer Windows to move out on loan, if not he`ll be facing months of inactivity. It won`t stop the big clubs hoarding players either but it will hopefully promote the development of a club`s own players and level out the playing field somewhat.What do you think? Do we loan too many young players from other clubs? Should we develop our own here? What impact will the end of the 'emergency` loan have? Let us know by commenting below!
Since writing this, it has emerged that Watford want to take Portsmouth`s utility player Joel Ward on 'emergency loan`. It`s hard to see where Ward would fit in and this is yet another example of a club clearly flouting the original purpose of the rules.