Chelsea would have to recall 30 loan players under new rules ratified by FIFA, which will come into play at the end of next season.
New regulations have been in the works for a number of months and FIFA have now got the green light to go ahead with their proposals.
It will mean that clubs are only allowed to send between six and eight players out on loan per season – the number is yet to be decided – which would have dramatic implications for a number of Premier League clubs.
Chelsea have 39 players out on loan this season, after Jamal Blackman was recalled after picking up an injury at Leeds, and the loan system is vital for the model of their club.
They have loaned out a large number of young players over the past decade, before selling them on for large profits if they are not good enough to break into the first-team squad at Stamford Bridge.
Another one of the rules set to be implemented is limited the amount of players that can sent on loan to another club to two.
The Blues have a long association with Vitesse Arnhem in Holland, sending players there every year since 2010, and often have multiple youngsters learning their trade in the Eredivisie – this year 30-year-old keeper Eduardo is one of three players there.
A FIFA task-force is currently looking to overhaul the transfer system and one of the key areas was changing the loan market.
They want to make sure its main aim is to develop young players and not just be part of a business model.
Chelsea are not the only top-flight club who would be affected by the changes at the end of next season.
Unsurprisingly, Manchester City have the second most players out on loan at 28, while last year’s Championship winners Wolves have 28.
Everton (16) and Brighton (14) are the other sides who would have to cut their loanees down considerably , although that should not be too difficult with another 18 months until the rule is set to come into place.