Fifa's new transfer plans pose bankruptcy threat

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The Independent Online

THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE believes Fifa's proposal to scrap the current transfer system could endanger the future of many lowerLeague clubs.

THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE believes Fifa's proposal to scrap the current transfer system could endanger the future of many lowerLeague clubs.

Under the new plans put forward by world football's ruling body, supported by European Union law, the current free marketwould end, with clubs receiving money depending on the amount of time left on a player's current contract and his annual wages.

For example, a player with 12 months left on his contract, receiving £1m a year in wages would cost £1m - a figurederived by multiplying the number of years left on the contract by the amount earned per annum. But the League believes that thenew ruling could bankrupt clubs in the First, Second and Third Divisions.

"It really could have a serious affect and we have got to be very serious about how we go about looking at this whole proposalfrom Fifa," Peter Rowe, the League's director of communications, said.

"We have serious misgivings about the proposal. The opportunity to trade for our clubs is often a lifeline for them. And the abilityto keep them going in crucial times. Clubs are sometimes forced to sell to survive. The outline of this proposal could seriouslyjeopardise that ability by our clubs. So we will be monitoring the situation and studying the report very closely over the next fewweeks."

The proposal is still at an early stage but Rowe insists that the League will do everything in their power to prevent it becoming law."Until we have seen something concrete and had a chance to look at all the ramifications, it is very hard to say what we couldand couldn't do," he said. "But we have got to do everything we can to prevent this from happening because it could seriouslyjeopardise the future of some of our clubs."

In the current climate, the English game's lesser lights depend upon developing and selling their own talent to survive. But the newproposals would drain away the selling clubs' lifeblood, with funds minimised and players creaming even more money.

Ron Noades, the chairman and manager at Brentford, said: "This will kill off the Football League. This will kill off youth teams andreserve teams - it will do no good to the industry at all. Bosman is already crippling the football industry with players able to movefor nothing at the end of their contracts."

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