Hartlepool United chairman Gary Coxall has slammed major changes to the emergency loan system in England – claiming it will “ruin” League One and Two clubs, writes Richard Mennear.
Pools are among a host of clubs in the bottom two tiers of English football who rely heavily on the domestic loan system.
Last season, when Pools pulled off the Great Escape, a total of nine players were bought in to the club on short-term loan deals.
Without the likes of Aaron Tshibola, David Mirfin and Jordan Hugill, the chances are Pools would have been playing non-league football for the first time in the club’s history.
But from next season, Football League clubs won’t be allowed to sign academy prospects or fringe players outside of the specified transfer windows, thanks to changes being introduced by world governing body FIFA.
And chairman Coxall believes it will be a major blow to clubs up and down the country.
“Next season will show how important the loan system is for lower league clubs because they are bringing the emergency loan system to a close,” Coxall exclusively told SportMail.
“It will come to an end and it is going to ruin League One and League Two clubs.
“Premier League is a different planet, Championship clubs will be fine but League One and League Two are going to be absolutely screwed.
“They are saddling you, if, for example, you have all your right-backs out injured then tough.
“You won’t be able to bring any cover in.”
Pools signed 12 new players in the summer as part of a major revamp, with JPNG taking over from long-standing owners Increased Oil Recovery (IOR).
Since the season has started, Moore has signed a further eight loan signings, some for four-weeks and others on longer emergency loan deals.
As well as benefiting Pools, the loan also provides the loanee with the chance to prove themselves in the Football League.
So far, Pools have loaned Andrew Boyce, Luke Hendrie, Jason Banton, Kal Naismith, Mikael Mandron, Magnus Okuonghae, Jake Gray and Adam Jackson from a mixture of Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two sides.
From next year though, they won’t be able to do that outside of the summer and January transfer windows, under the new FIFA guidelines.
Coxall believes there should be more flexibility for Football League clubs, especially those in League One and Two.
And he says the major changes planned for the loan system are another example of the lack of support to clubs like Pools.
Coxall added: “Clubs are given a one-size fits all system and it doesn’t suit everyone.
“I don’t think there is enough support, especially for League Two clubs and this change to the loan system is another example.”
Emergency loans allow Football League and Conference clubs the chance to sign players for a maximum of 93 days in two periods outside of the international transfer windows.
It was first introduced to help ease financial pressure on lower division clubs with smaller squads.
The changes were originally due to come in this season (2015-16) but the FA managed to persuade FIFA to extend the emergency loan system until the end of May.