Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson seeks change to '˜ridiculous' loan rule

AHEAD of an Easter double-header that could see several of the promotion chasing pack in League One hindered by the absence of key players through international duty, Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson has called on the Football League to amend their rules.

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).

City host Millwall tomorrow severely depleted following call-ups for Lee Evans, Reece Burke and Josh Cullen.

Under League rules, a club can call for a postponement when without three players. Crucially, though, youth loans such as those involving Burke and Cullen do not count so tomorrow’s meeting between seventh and fifth in the table must go ahead.

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Barnsley are similarly affected by the rule, as youth loan duo Ashley Fletcher and Callum Connolly are away on international duty along with Lloyd Isgrove. It leaves Paul Heckingbottom having to make changes against Scunthorpe United today and Port Vale on Monday. Coventry City are also without Adam Armstrong over the holiday period.

Parkinson said: “For youth loans not to count to get the game off, when Reece has played almost every game, is not quite right. It is an absolutely ridiculous rule. No one can understand it.

“There are a few managers, like me, who will be having a say come the end of the season.

“When the chairmen get to meet in the summer with the Football League in Portugal, it is something that needs to be discussed.

“To me, it should be done on the percentage of games (played). I can understand them wanting to stop clubs using youth loans for players not being involved and then calling games off. You might have other injuries and be using that for your benefit.

“But when players have played nearly every week that has surely got to count.”