It has just been announced that FIFA have banned London club Chelsea from signing any players for the next two transfer windows. The action came after a length investigation by FIFA into the way in which Chelsea acquired youth players. Along with the transfer embargo they have also been fined €600,000 and the Football Association have received a fine of €300,000 as they are the governing body. This is not the first time that we have seen FIFA take such action but it is the first time that it has affected a team in the Premier League. So what does this mean for the Blues and their future? We caught up with football business blogger Ian Weisberg to take a look.
The report which FIFA released showed that they looked into 92 transfers to Chelsea of young players in order to seek out any discrepancies which there may have been. The appearance is that at least 29 of those players were solicited and bought at age 18 and then not registered until much later, all the while they were playing games for the club. The focus of the investigation was into foreign players and upon its conclusion FIFA released the following statement.
“The disciplinary committee sanctioned Chelsea with a ban on registering new players at both national and international level for the next two complete and consecutive registration periods”
What Happens Next?
The next thing that we will see will be an appeal by Chelsea against the punishment which they have been given, rather than an appeal against the findings. The evidence which FIFA have is overwhelming so if anything is to be changed it will be the sentence, although that does seem unlikely.
Will It Make a Difference?
In recent years we have seen both Barcelona and Real Madrid hit with this punishment by FIFA, which they have both managed to circumvent. The official sanction is against teams registering players, not signing players and both Real and Barcelona were able to sign players during this time, who would then be registered when the embargo was lifted. Chelsea having a 2 window ban means that they could only do this in the second window, as players just wouldn’t wait that long to play. If Chelsea appeal this at the right time, they may have the beginning of the next window to still sign players until a decision is reached.
Hazard, Higuain, Pulisic and More
Chelsea have some player situations which need to be sorted out very soon indeed given this recent news, let’s see how it affects them.
Eden Hazard could still leave the club as the ban is on bringing players in, you’d expect the fee to be even higher now given Chelsea’s need to keep him.
Pulisic has been signed and registered by Chelsea before being loaned back to Dortmund, he will join as planned.
Higuain is on loan and Chelsea do have an option to extend the deal, as long as they do so before the appeal is decided upon.
Morata is a Chelsea player who is on loan to Atletico, Atletico however have an option to purchase the player and if they take that, Chelsea could lose both Morata and Higuain.
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