Grant attack on loans injustice

Peter Grant has taken a swipe at Premiership clubs who, he claims, are taking unfair advantage of the loan system. The Canaries boss is keen to repeat the success that Birmingham achieved last season when they took three players on loan from Arsenal - and won promotion to the Premiership.

By CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant has taken a swipe at Premiership clubs who, he claims, are taking unfair advantage of the loan system.

The Canaries boss is keen to repeat the success that Birmingham achieved last season when they took three players on loan from Arsenal - and won promotion to the Premiership.

However, Grant says the big clubs aren't helping their Championship cousins, who are being priced out of the loan market.

Grant has signed six players on permanent deals so far this summer and may try to get a player in for a season - a move which, he says, can benefit the big clubs.

“You can see they are even doing it in the Premiership, which I think is a bit out of order to be perfectly honest with you,” he said.

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“What they do is they have a big group of players looking after all competitions - they don't allow their players to go out on loan. What benefit are they going to get from that?

“And then they loan people in - and I just can't understand it. Hopefully the clubs will go back to seeing the benefits of the loan system.”

Grant has an ally in Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry, who believes temporary moves should be banned in the Premiership.

“When I was at the Premier League we always took the view that, given the money in the Premier League, you didn't need loans - you should be able to stand on your own two feet,” said Parry, former Premier League chief executive.

“There is enough money around to make transfer deals permanent.”

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted Manchester United could have won the treble last season - had he had not loaned players out.

“We had a great opportunity, but we just didn't have enough bodies to stretch our squad out and save legs where we could have saved legs. We got a lot of injuries all in the space of a few weeks. In that situation I sort of regretted allowing the young players to stay out on loan,” he said.

Two of his young stars - Danny Simpson and Jonny Evans - joined Sunderland on loan in January and helped the Black Cats to the Championship title.

At St Andrews, Birmingham boss Steve Bruce took Arsenal trio Fabrice Muamba, Sebastian Larsson and Nicklas Bendtner on loan at the beginning of last season - and, after joining Sunderland in the top flight, paid out a total of £5m to keep Muamba and Larsson.

“I think you saw it with Birmingham last year - Arsenal allowed players to go up there and then they sell them for £3m or so,” said Grant.

“I think there is definitely a benefit for the Championship clubs as well, because there is just no way you can pay the wages that they are asking, that Premiership players are on now. Even players who get promoted from here, their wages are double or treble.”

Grant has admitted that he will use a series of friendly matches between now and opening day on August 11 to assess whether he needs to strengthen midfield and defence, but says other clubs are aware of his interest.

“We have spoken to a few clubs, Gunny (Bryan Gunn) has obviously spoken to a few people letting them know that we are still looking for players and if there are any they are willing to let out on loan, let us know.

“If it is somebody we feel could benefit the group we would definitely look to take them in. I think it is something we have to utilise because I think that last year you saw with the amount of injuries we ended up having we were short. Even though the young boys deserved their opportunity there was actually a stage when I was putting injured boys on the bench. If you are going to be challenging you just can't have that and I was doing that too often last year.”

While the loans in file has a question mark against it, the one marked out is much clearer: there will be fringe players who will be sent out on temporary deals, possibly before the season starts.

“That is something that is on my mind right now, because I am not just going to take them for the sake of taking them and I am not going to babysit,” he said. “I am not going to just keep players for the sake of keeping them round and about and filling up numbers.

“They are all part of it at this moment in time - obviously there comes a time when we have got to make a choice on who you see in the core of your group. There is no doubt in my mind that boys will be going out on loan. It is just a matter of making sure they get the right work in at this moment in time because I don't want them to be going to another club and doing it completely differently.

“I think pre-season is vital to them all, it is vital to us as well, so they can assess where they are and hopefully when they do go out their fitness levels set them in good stead and make them ready so when they go out they can have an impact.”

Grant has constantly bemoaned the lack of competition offered by reserve team football.

“When I look at the fixtures for the reserves and who we are going to be playing against, no disrespect to them, but I am thinking if it is going to be x, y and z reserve teams, what benefit is my squad going to get from that. That is not the standard I am hoping to be at, I am hoping to be above that and the only way I can do that is probably loan them out.”