Chelsea’s Transfer Ban Explained
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Chelsea’s Transfer Ban Explained

November 4, 2019

In February 2019, FIFA ruled that Chelsea
had breached rules relating to the registration of players under 18. Consequently, their only
summer acquisition involving a fee was Mateo Kovačić, who completd his transfer from
Madrid a year after agreeing an initial loan deal. The ban has genuine ramifications for a team
who, according to Transfermarkt, have an annual player expenditure in the region of £100m
and who have always relied upon the short pulses of improvement that player trading
can provide. But they’ll now have to do without until
the summer of 2020. Chelsea have been judged to have breached FIFA’s Article 19, which
prohibits the transfer of players under the age of 18, but with three key exceptions. A minor is allowed to move clubs if: a) A player’s parents move to a new country
for reasons unconnected to football. b) The player lives no further than 50km from
a national border and wishes to be registered in the neighbouring association. Or, c) A transfer takes place between two
clubs within the EEA, the player is aged between 16 and 18, and the club fulfils the minimum
requirements of football training, academic education and acceptable living accommodation
and welfare. Chelsea were found to have committed 29 breaches
of article 19 and stand accused of serious and systemic failings in their dealings with
minors. The authorities are reported to have been prompted to act after the signing of
Bertrand Traoré, the Burkina Faso forward, who signed professional terms on January 1st
2014. Although he had turned 18, photos later emerged
of Traoré, now at Lyon, playing for Chelsea in in a non-competitive game against Arsenal
in October, 2011, aged 16. It is claimed that the club paid Traoré’s mother more than
£150,000 to secure a first refusal option on the player, in addition to an extra £13,000
to the club AJE Bobo-Dioulasso,. The investigation into Chelsea drew comparisons
to a similar ruling in Spain, which saw Barcelona receive a two-window ban in 2014. The Catalan
side were sanctioned after FIFA had been alerted to, among nine other cases, the signing of
13-year-old Lee Seung-woo. At the time, Lee was considered one of the finest prospects
for his age, a future Lionel Messi, but he would eventually be sold to Italian side Verona
for less than €2m and, today, has a very different sort of legacy. In such cases, FIFA’s digital Transfer Matching
System (TMS) is fundamental to identifying troubling cases. TMS is an online platform for FIFA member
associations to record player transfers between clubs. Its use was made mandatory in 2010
and it now monitors minors from the age of 10 and upwards. It requires buying and selling
clubs to enter details of the player and the transfer before gaining approval and, in cross-border
cases, before an international transfer certificate is dispensed. It’s a key tool in indentifying
disparities and red flags. In Chelsea’s case, the Traore case spawned
an investigation into 92 other transfers, within which 29 infractions were found. The transfer of Andreas Christensen from Brondby
in 2012, for instance, also raised concern and was reportedly facilitated by a payment
of £600,000 to his father. According to Football Leaks, Sten Christensen
was employed as a talent scout for four years, while remaining goalkeeping coach at Brondby
and carrying out no such work on behalf of Chelsea. When questioned by Danish newspaper
Politiken, he suggested reporters contact Chelsea, commenting: “It sounds like a story
you have got from someone in Ukraine or something like that. I have no comment whatsoever.” It is understood that the London team avoided
any form of censure over the signing of Christensen after the Premier League announced an amnesty
in November, 2015, in order to inform their new policies on the transfers of academy players. But similar cases continue to blight the game.
Manchester City are alleged to have given a scouting contract to Jadon Sancho’s agent,
Emeka Obasi, worth £200,000 when the player, now at Borussia Dortmund, was 14 and playing
for Watford. Liverpool were banned from signing academy
players from other English clubs for two years in 2017, after reportedly tapping-up an unnamed
12-year-old from Stoke City. And Everton’s academy remains under a transfer
embargo until November 2020, after they were found guilty of both offering inducements
to family members of a Cardiff City player and of providing false information to the
Premier League. Having admitted the charge, the club suspended their Head of Academy and
launched their own internal investigation. Chelsea are the most high profile case and
FIFA’s ruling has certainly made an example out of them, but they are unique only in the
sense that the charges against them were proven and then upheld on appeal. The practices of
which they were found guilty, however, have been worryingly common for some time.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. The transfer ban has been a blessing for chelsea had a hance to develop our acadamy and when we can spend in the summer we will have a fucking war chest 300 million min

  2. I think this Fifa rule is quite silly. Clubs are always going to try and snap up prospects at an early age so they can either promote them to the first team if they are good enough or sell for a profit to other clubs. It is a little unethical to be paying these huge sums to parents and agents for the young talent but it has been happening for ages and will not stop. If anything, this rule should be looked at and perhaps downsized

  3. ? Imagine if Jadon Sancho was tearing up the league right now with Watford. Him and Deulofeu on the wings would have been a good one.

  4. I don't wanna be that guy who compares our team to other teams who are arguably much worse offenders of transfer laws (mancity, psg, etc.) so I'll just say I'm happy with the current state of the team and more academy players get a chance to make an impact on the first team. I do realize that not every lucas piazon or josh mceachran can be a future world class player but abraham, mount and tomori are showing us that there are young lads who can definitely help the team. and of course examples like de bruyne, lukaku and salah teach us that some players shouldn't be sold after 1 bad season.

  5. Thankyou for the unbiased video. Obviously it's worked out in our favour, but yeah, shady practice that needs to stop. In fact, it's about time FIFA really started implementing punishments for all the offences, from tapping up players to PED abuse. Both are prevalent in the modern game.

  6. Can anyone explain this to me. Son Heung Min doesn't satisfy any of the 3 exceptions of article 19. How then is he able to move to Hamburg when he is underage?

  7. Is it just me or the charge of a 1 year transfer ban seem really minor compared to how they abused the rules for so long and will probably continue to do

  8. Thanks FIFA, huge money saved this year, next year we can buy a world class Center back and hopefully become title challengers, I'd say get Koulibaly and have him partner Tomori or Rudiger.

  9. The main reason Chelsea main team alone got the axe was because the owner was a high profile Russian.
    So much for separation of justice system and UK politics.

    In no way am I saying that chelsea shoud not have been penalised. Every other club (the main team) should have been penalised as well.

  10. Blessing in disguise as many have said. This is a problem with all the big teams really, unless their hand is forced and a manager who is willing to take risks, like Chelsea/Lampard have, nearly all will go out and buy players! Maybe FIFA should think about enforcing quotas of academy players being part of the squad too, how many dreams have been destroyed by the big clubs of not giving the youngsters a proper chance?

  11. It is ludicrous to prevent parents/guardians of young players from earning monies from professional football clubs, considering the hyper commercial state of football. Yes, young players ought to be protected, but clubs should be allowed to pay parents/guardians monies because football clubs nurture young players with one thing in mind – financially capitalising on those players when they are good enough to play first team football. Even when players are not good enough for first teams, they are stick worth small fortunes to clubs. If young players consent (if they are not coerced), good and proper parents/guardians, should be given monies to secure players' welfare.

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  13. This ban along with Lamps appointment is the turning point for Chelsea. Lamps would have used these youth players nonetheless but the ban means the board won't buy expensive flops like Bakayoko and Drinkwater.

    Our youth is one of the best in the world and I been wanting to see them got over 5 years.

  14. I had very low expectations of this season because of the ban and also because of the loss of Hazard as well as the injuries of Reece, Callum, and Ruben at the beginning of the season. I always believed that Abraham should've been given a chance at the club and not wrote off because of his spell as Swansea but I never expected him to be this good although I expect him to slow down. The board have notoriously made terrible signings and because Cech is now there to advise Marina, I think that our signings will be much more focused and improve the team straight away. As much as I love the youth and the interconnectedness of the team right now, we undoubtedly need more depth in positions if we want to challenge the likes of City and Liverpool. I expected 5th this season but with Spurs in turmoil (you love to see it) I think top 4 is surely on the cards unless Spurs and Man U dramatically improve which I don't foresee.

  15. So a transfer ban for solicitating underage players has been offset by said players stepping up to the first team. Cheats never prosper….

  16. If we didnt have the ban…
    Sarri probably wouldnt have left
    Which means that we would still play old players like Giroud and Pedro
    Which means no Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori
    In a way, this has helped Chelsea

  17. Transfer ban has probably been the best thing to happen to Chelsea ! I think they will come out stronger at the end of the ban because it has meant they have had to bring on their very very talent youngsters . They might not win anything this season but the experience they gain this season will make for a great future .

  18. I thought the ban was supposed to be a punishment? All it's done is give me one of the more enjoyable Chelsea seasons in recent years and it's not even over yet.

  19. FIFA is furious at all those bribed and money illegally exchanged behind the scenes.
    They did not get a cut so they acted with such speed and zeal.

  20. As a Chelsea fan, I'm really happy for the ban. Simply because Roman Abramovich can save some money & we can use it to buy a big world class player whenever we feel like it. As a business, if we're successful this season it would also be great for him to gain something back without needing spend the funds.

  21. I went to a school in Surrey and in year 8 some Croatian lad called Karlo Ziger joined and was a Chelsea youth keeper and said he played for some massive Croatian club (forgot their name) so he must’ve been one of the 29 breaches ???

  22. That feeling then ManCity did exactly the same thing as Chelsea but they just had to pay 500k to Fifa and thats it

    Madrid needs to rely a bit more on youth instead of Galacticos
    Barca needs to gain the same strength with the Academy as before
    Look at the players they got

  24. One funny thing is that Chelsea broke all these rules for young players, they have a history of not playing young players.?

  25. This comment will not be orginally posted on The Athletic and then re-posted on TiFo Football and certainly not re-reposted on Rabona Tv .

  26. Chelsea youth doing well right now. Mount and Abraham scoring goals regularly and will only get better as they develop

  27. Amazing to see legends like BeatFox and Markooz!! BeatFox was one of the guys who inspired me to start beatboxing. Full respect !!

  28. Thank fuck for the transfer ban, otherwise we wouldn't have played Mount, Tomori & Abraham. Pulisic needs to play a lot more, and I feel seriously bad for sexy Giroud


  30. Very well explained but thanks to FIFA, we r finding how good our development squad is and our youth r our future. We have to selective buyer's from here on as we have some really good player's in our club.

  31. Shows that you can and should play youth and not spend a billion pounds on overpriced, overrated, overhyped players. Like many say, it’s a blessing in disguise for Chelsea. Abraham, Tomori, Mount and Hudson Odoi are doing just fine and they don’t need any replacements.

  32. Why don’t they ban Man City for consecutive overspending. They don’t even get a lot of sales back from player sales so it’s pure money being spent at least Chelsea have always sold players and for high prices. City and Arabs are corrupt

  33. Yea we should keep the ban as a chelsea fan we were supposed to projected 7th in the league but we have now won r last 5 premier league games

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