Chelsea handed transfer ban - what happens next?

The Premier League club Chelsea have been banned from signing new players in the next two transfer windows as punishment for breaking rules on registering underage players, Federation Internationale de Football Association said on Friday.

Chelsea will not be able to register any new players in the next two transfer windows after the club breached one of FIFA's rules and regulations.

However, the club have criticised FIFA's findings and, in a statement announcing their intention to appeal the decision, said they are "extremely disappointed".

The transfer ban does not prevent Chelsea from selling players.

This was a rule introduced previous year, but Rule 19.1 of FIFA's transfer rules states clearly "International transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18".

The original charge related to 92 players and Chelsea are adamant they acted within the rules when signing each of them, with a formal appeal to be lodged imminently.

The FA was also told that it has 6 months to address any blindspots in their regulations for the registration of foreign players at English clubs.

However, if Chelsea's appeal is rejected by the FIFA Appeals Committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sports, they will be left with no option but to serve the penalty.

'The decision imposes a transfer ban of two consecutive registration periods and a fine of 600k Swiss francs.

It means the club - who immediately said they would appeal the decision - will be unable to make signings until the end of January next year.

FIFA's investigation into their transfers was sparked by the circumstances surrounding the arrival of former player Bertrand Traore.

"The disciplinary committee sanctioned Chelsea with a ban on registering new players at both national and worldwide level for the next two complete and consecutive registration periods", Federation Internationale de Football Association said in a statement.

The punishment is the latest blow for Chelsea, who have dropped to sixth in the Premier League and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United on Tuesday.

This could prove huge for Chelsea, as the club has made a habit of signing young players and sending them out on loan, and there is plenty of talent that they own playing elsewhere they can bring back into the fold to add depth to their roster.

Chelsea was facing an uncertain short-term with Eden Hazard angling for a transfer to Real Madrid.

At least Gateshead seemed keen not to rub salt into the wounds, though, as they tweeted "Welcome to the club" following the news.

  • Rosalie Stanley