Chelsea’s Transfer Ban Explained


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.

55 thoughts on “Chelsea’s Transfer Ban Explained

  1. There's been an unexpected silver lining from this: We would never see players like Mason Mount and Tammy sniffing the first team if this wasn't the case for Chelsea. Arsenal fan here, and I shudder to think how good the Chelsea squad will get once they've had a few wrinkles under their eyes. Mount, especially.

  2. I can't believe part of the reason they got banned are young players that they pretty much never used and shifted on. Though I suppose it worked out since some of the lads we're seeing now would never have gotten a shot

  3. Everybody thought that they were gonna flop after losing 4-0 to United on the first game…
    They are improving and the transfer ban actually helps Chelsea not wasting their loanee talents anymore…
    Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount is Chelsea future…
    I first thought that Lampard taking over Chelsea too soon but he is doing well too…

  4. I wonder if FIFA will investigate national sides for this soon also. It’s an open secret that the Irish FA have abused the GFA to secure Northern Irish players. Also plenty of rumours in Scotland that James McCarthys family was given a Cash Incentive to ensure he remained with Ireland when he was allegedly considering a swap to Scotland.

  5. The most funny thing is man city got fined just €300 for breaching fifa rules… And Chelsea got a two window. Ban…
    Oil money rules i guess

  6. Whoever decided to transfer ban my team, thank you

    -A Chelsea fan who finally has hope for the future and enjoys watching his team play

  7. You are extremely so correct about the Chelsea's transfer ban of 2 years and that is what the English FA particularly should have done to both Chelsea and Manchester City 10 years ago,admin!!!:-D

  8. In America, this is known as recruitment bribery. In which a 'donor' will bribe a top athlete to play sports for a certain school they fancy. The most notorious case being the SMU scandal in which several top athletes had been paid to play at this school. The end result was the NCAA sanctioning the school by revoking the scholarships of future athletes and prohibiting the school from offering scholarships to athletes for 5 years. SMU went from being a perennial title contender to floundering in the second division of college football.

    In America, an athlete can play in a respective sport for 4 years before deciding to go professional. They are non paid amateurs and the chance to go to school while have their tuition, rooming and board completely paid for is seen as the only form of payment they need. SMU being bannee from offering scholarships to the school negatively impacted its attendance and funding. The 4 years they were denied the ability to recruit sank them so low in competition they will never be able to compete for any major tier college sporting title.

    To make a comparison, it would be the same as a top premiere club being demoted straight to the 9th tier of english football all while having your best talent leave you and your assets dried up.

  9. Should've mentioned somewhere in the video that it's not a TRANSFER ban. It's a REGISTRATION ban. Barcelona signed players when they were serving a ban for this. They just couldn't register them and therefore play them.

  10. my man we get you're British and obviously biased towards the Prem. but can we please get more more history videos on great world players like R9, Dinho, Zidane, etc? hell I'll take players that played in the Prem if you want like Henry, I feel like those are so important to discuss because many new fans have zero clue of the history of the game all they know is Messi, CR&, Neymar. They have no clue Pre-Knee injury R9 is probably the GOAT or at the very least the highest peak any player every reached skill wise from 1995-1998, They have no clue how magical Dinho was in his prime or Zidane. Many don't even know Kaka was better than Messi or CR7 as well prior to injury.

  11. Every powerful club is at it. FIFA, UEFA and national FAs don't have the balls to do what's necessary to enforce the rules.

    It's particularly weird how clubs are so willing to pay out backhamders for youth players when so few of them actually go on to make it. They're just pissing money away while running the risk of "serious" repercussions. Doesn't seem like good business strategy to me.

  12. Can you guys do a video about 1994 Malaysian match-fixing scandal that brought down the entire country football scene that never recovered from since

  13. Chelsea will finish 3rd or higher. This is a much better squad than last year with a manager who adapts to win and creating more counterattacking chances(where Chelsea have always thrived)
    In UCL they'll get to the quarters or further

  14. I am a Chelsea fan but I believe they deserve the ban. It's like selling underaged kids which is wrong. They deserve the ban although it could be a blessing in disguise!

  15. I hate it when I hear the saying “ the new messi “ . Messi is his completely own , unique player comparable to none. Not even Ronaldo

  16. The 3 exceptions imposed by FIFA are just a way to provide the big clubs some alternate path for carrying out the transfer for minors. The removal of those 3 exceptions is the best way to ensure an end to this trade of minors. If anyone's more interested on this topic they should read "The Lost Boys: Inside Football’s Slave Trade" by Ed Hawkins. The book clearly explains the dark side of the game

  17. Since 2009 Chelsea have had a good number of youth players who have won the FA youth cup many times… we've had Sam Walker, Michael Mancienne, Gael Kakuta, Jack Cork, Jacob Mellis, Daniel Philliskirk, etc… Not one of them were given a chance… Well it's about time the youth are shining

  18. Why minors have to suffer such as not being able to play any games due to club's fault. FIFA needs to improve this rule. Clubs can always find players and pay fines but young players not being able to play football for few years will ruin their lives.

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