SPFL loan signing policy causes unrest among clubs

Motherwell boss Stuart McCall slammed the 'crazy' and little-known rule. Picture: SNS
Motherwell boss Stuart McCall slammed the 'crazy' and little-known rule. Picture: SNS
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The Scottish Professional Football League has relaxed restrictions on the number of players one club can loan another.

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall last week lambasted the “crazy” and little-known rule which prevented a club loaning more than one player to another SPFL club.

The SPFL board, at its meeting on Monday, decided that clubs can now lend up to two players to teams in a different division, although loans to teams in the same division are still restricted to one player.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “Member clubs had asked us to look at this rule which we acted on immediately and I’m very grateful to the SPFL board for responding so quickly and effectively. By making this rule adjustment while the

transfer window is open, it allows our clubs to consider all options open to them and plan accordingly.”

McCall was speaking after trying to offload Adam Cummins and another player to Dundee for the rest of the season. While Cummins went to Dens Park, striker Bob McHugh has now completed a switch to Queen of the South.

However, Dundee were far from pacified by the rule change after missing out on McHugh to their Championship rivals.

Dundee chief executive Scot Gardiner, whose team face Hamilton in a title battle on Saturday, said: “We’re very angry about it. It is too late for us because the centre-forward that we tried to sign for Saturday’s game has now signed for someone else. And the reason he signed for someone else was because Motherwell were told ‘you’ve got no chance of the rule being changed’.

“It is extremely annoying, I think it is embarrassing for all of us. Common sense doesn’t prevail again in Scottish football or it prevails but only after a certain amount of damage has been done. I believe other clubs have been affected as well. It is annoying in the extreme.”

McHugh, 22, has found his first-team opportunities limited by the form of John Sutton and Henri Anier, who signed a permanent deal on Friday, while James McFadden has also played up front in recent games.