Following his sides 2-2 draw with Watford on Friday night, Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has hit out at the system that has allowed the Hornets to sign 11 players on international loans.

Under the current Football League rules, players loaned from foreign clubs are recognised as transfers and therefore do not impact on the loan restrictions. 

The rules allow a maximum of five loan players in a match-day squad, or a maximum of two players over 23 from one club, but this doesn’t apply to players arriving from other countries, something that has angered Holloway. 

"They've got some world-class players that they've borrowed from almost one club," Holloway told BBC Sport.

"It seems pretty ludicrous to me."

Watford’s owners, the Pozzo family, have a controlling stake in Udinese and Granada, and have provided Gianfranco Zola’s side with 10 players on loan, while Geoffrey Mujangi Bia is on loan from Standard Liege. Nathaniel Chalobah of Chelsea is their only player recognised as a loan signing.

The rules have even meant that Watford have been able to re-loan Steve Leo Beleck of Udinese out to Stevenage, leaving the system open to abuse from Holloway.

"What if Barcelona wanted to buy us and play their 'B' team for us? We've got to sort this out.

"No arguing - what their manager is doing and how they're doing it is fantastic. If there's a loophole, they've found it and some of those players are as good as any I've seen in the world.

"But I can't believe there's such a massive loophole, and my question is - where are those English players going to come from?" Holloway said. 

It’s certainly a system that has yielded rewards for Watford as they sit in fourth place in The Championship. But is it fair on the other 23 clubs in the division? Holloway for one thinks not.


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