When the FA Cup semifinal draw was made a few weeks ago and Chelsea were drawn against Crystal Palace, the first thing that almost instantly came to everyone’s mind was whether Conor Gallagher would be available to face the Blues.
Loanees are not permitted to play in the Premier League against their parent clubs, however, cup regulations are sometimes different.
The London Blues, however, did allow Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori to play against them in the League Cup with Derby County a few years back. Naturally, UEFA guaranteed that Thibaut Courtois, who was on loan at Atlético Madrid at the time, could face them in the Champions League over a decade ago.
However, this time around, it is not Chelsea’s pick.
This season, the FA modified the competition regulations to specifically prohibit on-loan players from competing against their “lending” teams, even if the lending clubs granted them permission to compete. Previously, the FA regulations permitted “season-long” loan arrangements, but this is no longer the case.
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However, the narrative clarity surrounding this scenario has been thrown into chaos, with a story last weekend saying that Chelsea had rejected Palace’s request for some type of “special dispensation” to allow Gallagher to play.
The guidelines do not appear to allow for such an exception, even if Chelsea were willing to cooperate, yet Palace allegedly requested nonetheless.