Chelsea has been sanctioned with a two-window transfer ban and a fine by FIFA, meaning they will now have to make alternative plans when it comes to their immediate recruitment approach.
The game’s world governing body announced the sanction, which relates to breaches concerning the transfer of players who are under 18, on February 22 and the Premier League club have been working to appeal against it and have already lost one of those appeals. FIFA’s rules surrounding the signing of minors are extremely strict and clubs including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Liverpool to name a few have fallen foul in the past.
According to FIFA, the ban is being imposed on Chelsea because the governing body found the club to be in breach of regulations relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.
Specifically, the Blues were found to have breached article 19 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players in the case of 29 minors.
The club was also found to have breached article 18bis (which concerns third-party influence on clubs) in connection with two agreements that were reached concerning minors.
What does it mean for Chelsea?
Well for the next two years Chelsea will not be able to sign any players into their first team or on professional contracts. For the immediate future, the rumoured transfer of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid can still take place as the ban doesn’t stop Chelsea from selling players. Also, the signing of Christian Pulisic will be unaffected as the deal with Borussia Dortmund was completed in January.
A chance for youth?
This season Chelsea had a grand total of 41 players out on loan which included the likes of Kurt Zouma at Everton, Tammy Abraham at Aston Villa and Reece James at Wigan. This transfer ban could be a blessing in disguise for the youth system at Chelsea with youth players potentially being given a chance in the first team next season. With an ageing squad including the retirement of Gary Cahill Sarri’s men will need to make additions and the only place to do that will be from within.
The next two years will be tricky for Chelsea and the warning to all other teams from FIFA is clear to see. But it could be a good thing in the long run for the recruitment of young players, investment in recruitment infrastructure and their chances of success.