Chelsea have been handed a transfer ban by FIFA for the next two windows but there is a way they can still sign players as seen in previous instances.
Chelsea to appeal transfer ban
A statement released on the club’s official website read: “Chelsea FC has today received a decision from the FIFA Disciplinary Committee concerning alleged breaches of the FIFA Regulations that relate to the international transfer of players under the age of 18. The decision imposes a transfer ban of two consecutive registration periods and a fine of 600k Swiss francs.
“Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and will therefore be appealing the decision. The club wishes to emphasise that it respects the important work undertaken by FIFA in relation to the protection of minors and has fully cooperated with FIFA throughout its investigation.
“Initially, Chelsea FC was charged under Articles 19.1 and 19.3 in relation to 92 players. We welcome the fact that FIFA has accepted that there was no breach in relation to 63 of these players. But the club is extremely disappointed that FIFA has not accepted the club’s submissions in relation to the remaining 29 players. Chelsea FC acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will shortly be submitting its appeal to FIFA.”
Chelsea might still sign players this summer
It has been done before and it is a viable option for the London based club. By appealing, the club can delay the implementation of the ban till the summer. This will allow the club to recruit players in the summer transfer window. One example saw Barcelona handed a transfer ban by FIFA in 2014. However, the La Liga giants appealed the decision. And while that appeal was pending, the club were still allowed to be active during the 2014 summer transfer window.
Two years down the line, even Real Madrid were handed a transfer ban. While FIFA allowed the Bernabeu outfit to sign players in the summer of 2016, the two-window ban was due to start in January 2017. Real subsequently appealed with their ban cut to just the one window. However, not all appeals have positive outcomes. Atletico Madrid were banned in July 2016 from registering players for two windows for the same reason as the Blues. The club appealed and while their fine was reduced by almost £300,000, the ban was upheld.
Chelsea will hope that their appeal will slow the process of the sanctions. This should allow the Blues to make some moves in the summer window. Else it would be a very difficult 2019/20 season for the club and whoever is incharge by then. One positive, however, is the Chelsea youth and their long rooster of loanees will be presented with an opportunity to impress if the ban stands.