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Sep 3, 2010

Sullivan calls for end to loan 'madness'

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has called for a review of the loan system which allows English clubs to borrow only two players from within the UK, but an unlimited number from abroad - an imbalance he described as "madness".

• Hubbard: Beg borrow and deal • Hammers snubbed Caicedo

During the recent window, the Hammers brought in Tal Ben-Haim on loan from Portsmouth but cancelled a season-long move for Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo, just in case a higher-profile signing from a Premier League club became available.

And Sullivan believes the dealings and complications of the summer transfer window have highlighted the need for an overhaul in the loan system.

"It is possible that we might need to discuss ways of changing the loan system," Sullivan told ESPNsoccernet. "It is madness the English clubs are penalised, compared to foreign clubs, when you can only loan two players even from Championship or Premier League clubs.

"Clubs that have been recently relegated from the Premier League are often desperate to loan out expensive players - for example Jimmy Bullard at Hull - but it is difficult to offload them. However, you are free to loan as many as you want from foreign clubs. It doesn''t make sense."

Sullivan also advocates including clauses in player contracts that automatically halve player salaries for relegated clubs, something that Blackpool have implemented.

"All players contracts should be amended to make it compulsory that the players salaries are halved automatically if their club is relegated," Sullivan told ESPNsoccernet.

"Although I don't attend Premier League shareholders meetings personally, this is something that I have put forward but I don't think many, if any of the clubs, have voted for it. Maybe the times have now changed sufficiently for clubs to re-think it.

"Of course most players won't stand for it, so this has to be universal, so they cannot play one club off against another. Their only redress if they don't like it, is to go abroad or not come to the Premier League.

"Its a free market, so I don't advocate a salary cap of any description, and clubs will get round any formula you might bring in as a percentage of turn over and so on.

"But relegation carries such a heavy financial liability for any Premier League club, that something drastic needs to be done to ensure the clubs survival if they go down, and halving players wages is something that we all need to look at again."

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