Chelsea have been hit with a £460,000 fine and a two-window transfer ban which will prevent them from making any new signings in the summer or next January.
The Blues were found to have breached FIFA rules pertaining to the acquisition of foreign youth players, including Bertrand Traore, who made the switch to Stamford Bridge from Association Jeunes Espoirs De Bobo-Dioulasso (phew) in 2013.
Below, Football FanCast take a look at the potential consequences of the massive blow for the west London club…
Blues boss Maurizio Sarri has come under fire, with many calling for him to be sacked, after his refusal to try a different approach with his squad – ‘Sarri-ball’, as it has become known, doesn’t seem to be workable in the Premier League.
A 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City preceded a defeat to the champions’ rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup 5th round and although the performance in the Carabao Cup final was much better, the Italian manager appears to be on his last legs at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea may feel that a change of management is required if they are to finish in the top four this season but finding a top quality replacement for the former Napoli coach may prove extremely difficult if the club are unable to grant the new appointment signings.
Most of the time, when a new boss arrives, he will have demands concerning the types of players he needs the club to bring in if his ideas are to be successful – Sarri brought Jorginho with him – but anyone taking the wheel at Stamford Bridge will be forced to work with what they’ve got. Perhaps they may end up keeping Sarri in the job a while longer.
It’s bad enough not being able to make improvements to your squad for essentially a whole season, but being unable to replace outgoing players is even worse.
Blues talisman Eden Hazard’s contract runs out in summer 2020 and it’s no secret that Real Madrid are interested in poaching the Belgian winger.
The 28-year-old is indispensable at Stamford Bridge and will only become more so as the Blues are left staring through the transfer window for a year without being able to splash the cash.
They may have been tempted to sell had Los Blancos come in with an obscene bid but his staying in west London is now non-negotiable as they will be unable to sign a replacement.
Chelsea’s squad is ageing fast; David Luiz, Pedro, Willian and Olivier Giroud are all into their twilight years and have perhaps a season or so at the top of their game, maybe less – many would argue the aforementioned quartet are already past their best anyway.
Watch how to cross the road like a boss with freestyler Ben Nuttall in the video below…
At the other end of the scale, the Blues have a plethora of young talent that hardly gets a look in. Callum Hudson-Odoi – one of the brightest young stars in the country – nearly left for Bayern Munich, who were willing to spend upwards of £35m for his services, in January. Then there’s the likes of Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount out on loan.
Surely Chelsea’s inability to bring in any more players already at their peak will see the youngsters get more chances in the first team – at least until the embargo is lifted.