It has today been announced by FIFA that the freeze on Chelsea’s transfer ban, handed to them last month, requested by the accused club has been denied by Football’s governing body.
You can read about the transfer ban handed to Chelsea by UEFA following an investigation into the signing of foreign Under-18 players here:
Upon hearing the news from FIFA, Chelsea have said to be “astonished” with the decision to deny the transfer ban freeze during their appeal to the investigation and claims thrown at them, and claim the treatment compared to other European clubs is unfair.
The club went on to state:
“So far as the club is aware, in all previous cases where a registration ban has been imposed by Fifa, a decision has also been made to suspend the sanction until the appeal process has been completed.
“In this case, Chelsea considers that it is being treated inconsistently in comparison with other European clubs.”
The ban, which covers two transfer windows, does not prevent the release of players and will not apply to the club’s women’s and futsal teams.
The idea behind the appeal for Chelsea would have been to alleviate the pressures that come with such a hefty transfer ban, and so giving them the summer window in order to sort out their squad with the knowledge that they would not be able to bring in any more player for two consecutive transfer windows. This was done when Barcelona went through a similar case with FIFA in 2014, the appeal process allowing them the delay of the ban to bring in the likes of Suarez, ter Stegen and Rakitic to prepare for the ban ahead.
The decision from today’s FIFA appeals committee marks the beginning of a grim twelve or so months for Chelsea. With the future of Eden Hazard still up in the air with his not-so-secret admiration for Real Madrid, who are in a crisis of their own following Champions League and el Classico defeats, can Chelsea afford to let players depart whilst they’re prevented from welcoming any one new?
In fact yes, they could be able to. Chelsea have an abundance of young talent within in the club and on loan across Europe whom they could call upon to get the club through this period should they see departures this summer. So while a transfer ban may be in place, the recalling of their loan players is an option which Chelsea are able to seek under the terms of the ban, and must do so in my opinion should they stand a chance of not losing their European credentials.
Just look at this extensive list of loan players:
Let’s not also forget the arrival of Christian Pulisic in the summer to come, following a deal completed during the winter window this January, which saw Pulisic stay at Dortmund until the end of this season. The arrival of the young American talent could ease any worries set about Hazard deciding to finally leave Chelsea at the end of this season.
This will be comforting to Sarri and Abramovich as will some of the names on the list above who could come back and patch up any departments lacking in bodies.
The only worry for Chelsea fans could come in Sarri’s seeming lack of faith in the young talent already at Chelsea, notably Hudson-Odoi who was denied a transfer to Munich in January, and I’m sure would’ve been hoping for much more game time as result.
In order for Chelsea to succeed over the coming year or two, they must change their club philosophy of relying on established, high-value talent who they can buy to slot straight into the squad, whilst loaning out multiple squads worth of youngsters across Europe to develop and in-turn, raise their value. They must look to the youth as their future and allow them the chance to develop on the pitch as Chelsea players and allow Sarri ball to fully develop at the Bridge.
Should this change in club mentality from the hierarchy at the Blues, I think the club should be more than equipped to cope with the ban handed to them, just see Tottenham Hotspur’s recent transfer spending as an example of how a club can cope, even with departures at the same time.