December 6 – Chelsea have been cleared to re-enter the transfer market in the January window after a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling halved the transfer ban to just one window from the original two-window ban imposed by FIFA.
FIFA imposed their sanctions in February finding the London club guilty of breaching article 19 of its regulations on the status and transfer of players, which concerns the protection of minors. Documents published by FIFA last week showed its appeals committee found Chelsea had committed no fewer than 150 breaches involving around 70 players.
The appeals committee agreed with the disciplinary committee that the breaches were “inexcusable”. Chelsea were also judged to have broken rules prohibiting third-party influence on players.
The CAS arbitrator Massimo Coccia, found that while Chelsea did breach article 19 on the international transfer and registration of minors, it was “for a significantly smaller number of players (about 1/3 of the violations found by FIFA)”, said a CAS statement.
Coccia also found that “the violations of other RSTP rules were found to be less serious than those attributed to Chelsea FC by FIFA.”
As well as reducing the transfer ban by half, Coccia reduced the financial penalty by half from CHF600,000 to CHF300,000. He did however leave in place the warning and reprimand issued by FIFA to the club.
Under Frank Lampard the club has enjoyed unexpected success this season by finding a winning combination of existing squad members, up-and-coming young players and some of those previously out on loan. Cleared to enter the transfer market again, Lampard will have a new test of his management skills at the top end of the player trading business. Whether his young, predominantly English-qualified team, will survive the financial allure of that money market remains to be seen.
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