IMG-Reliance ask for a ‘loan window’ to be created at the end of their tournament

The commercial and marketing partners of the Indian FA have requested for a special provision under which a loan window be created…

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) find themselves in the soup with IMG-Reliance asking for a ‘loan window’ be created when their proposed IPL-style football tournament comes to a close in mid-March next year.

In the presentation made to the Emergency Committee of the AIFF last week, IMG-Reliance cited the example of the Emergency Loan transfer window in place in England.

With IMG-Reliance roping in at least ten players for their tournament next year, they will look to loan these players out to I-League clubs in the summer transfer window until the transactions begin in January again. Once the tournament begins, the players shall return to their parent club - the various franchisees under which IMG-Reliance are to register the players in state associations.

However once the tournament ends, the above mentioned players wouldn’t be able to join the I-League clubs again under the existing transfer rules in place As a result, IMG-Reliance are keen to have a loan window by which they can send the players back to the clubs and ensure that they do not miss out on the slice of the pie.

As a result, the players signed by IMG-Reliance for their franchisees stand to miss out on the I-League action post-January and as a result, clubs do not want to take a risk by roping in these players.

It must be noted that the Emergency loan transfer window in England is for the Championship, League One, League Two and Non-League sides who can benefit by roping in players from the Premier League clubs and not vice versa. It was put in place to provide relief to clubs who are stricken by injuries or suspensions, but some clubs over the years have taken advantage of it to boost their squads for promotion pushes, etc. In stark contrast what IMG-Reliance are looking for is the loaning of players from a lower division tournament/league to the highest division, i.e., I-League.

Player From To
Jonjo Shelvey Liverpool Blackpool
Fabio Borini Chelsea Swansea
DJ Campbell Leicester City Blackpool

                                             Players signed on emergency loan window

FIFA have declared that the emergency loan window would end from the start of the 2014-15 season as it contradicted their defined two transfer windows namely, the summer and the winter. The Football League have argued that the emergency loan window is vital to the survival of many of the professional (and financially struggling) league clubs. The world governing body for football have indicated that they will look at the current transfer window rules and consider relaxing them, which looks unlikely in the present day.

The AIFF, under pressure to bow down to the request of their partners, will find it difficult to change the transfer rules unless a special grant from FIFA is sought.

The only other way IMG-Reliance could get players for their tournament is if they are released by the I-League clubs in January to join the various franchisees. Since the loan period will be until the start of the next transfer window, players and the franchisees of the new tournament can mutually end the contract after March which will make them eligible to return their parent I-League club for the second half of the season.

Hence the decision of I-League Professional Football Clubs Association (IPFCA) take precedence in the current scenario as should they refuse to release the players, as things stand today, it will be interesting to see how the new tournament manages to rope in players.

While there have been suggestions to change the calendar of the season so that the I-League gets over by December starting 2014-15 season, sources in the AIFF, reveal that they aren’t open for such a drastic change.