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League Make Major Changes to Rules

By: Graham Howes
Date: 10/06/2002

THE Football League on Saturday gave the green light to relax loan rules. All 72 league chairmen voted in favour to allow 10 loanees during the course of the season.

Another benefit is that as many as five loan signings may be included in a matchday squad of 16. The other relaxation of the rules is that, at any one time, clubs can have up to four players on short-term loans and up to four on long-term loans.

This will undoubtedly help clubs like the mariners who have a small squad. It also has to be mindful in the fact that the relaxation could help clubs parachute themselves to the premiership.

We could see clubs fielding four premier league players and give themselves an edge in trying to gain promotion. Other changes agreed in the meeting is that 2 clubs will be promoted from the conference league.

Although this was initially rejected 12 months ago it was given the green light this time due to a cash bonus sweetener. The package is worth 6 million, all Third Division clubs will receive £50,000 at the start of each of the five seasons as compensation for the risk of losing their League status.

The two promoted clubs will receive £35,000 while parachute payments will be made to the two relegated clubs for one season. Meanwhile the Conference have announced that the second promotion place will gained via a play-off system.

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