What are Transfer Bans in Football?

  • Clubs can’t sign any new players under transfer bans
  • Chelsea was the latest sanctioned by it
  • It is given after breaking the rules of signing new players
Transfer Bans in football

Recently it happens more and more often, that different teams are punished with transfer bans in football. It can be a result of breaching of some rules, like signing an underage player. Sometimes it can have lasting effects on a club. Unlike in the case of Chelsea which received a ban last season for the next two transfer windows, but seems to be unaffected by it. 

In FIFA’s rules, there is a strict definition of when can an under-18 player from overseas be signed. Only in case if one of the three conditions are met, which are the followings:

  • If the players’ parents emigrated for non-footballing reasons
  • Both clubs are in the EU or EEA and the player is aged between 16 and 18
  • The player lives within 100 km of the new club

Well, not everyone has respected these rules in the last few years. After that, they were eligible for some sanctions. Premier League club Chelsea was the latest sinner as it was reported by online sportsbooks in the UK. Other top clubs like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have also received similar punishments earlier. 

The reasons behind transfer bans in football

transfer bans in football
Gaël Kakuta after the case – Image source: (:Julien:) / CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons

The most common reason for a club’s transfer ban, when a team is not allowed to sign any new players, is the breach of the above-mentioned rules regarding young players. This happened with Chelsea as well, who was found guilty in 29 cases breaching the regulation. It wasn’t their first case, as the club has already got into trouble in 2009. Then they tried to convince young Lens player Gael Kakuta to unseal his contract and join them. The club received a two-window ban but it was suspended after a few months. 

Another big no-no in football is signing a player if he has a valid contract at a different club and the club doesn’t want to let him go. Of course, it still happens all the time. As clubs are trying to steal the players by offering them more money, more extras, and more fame. You can read about some transfer predictions on our site. In the case of Roma, the club signed Philippe Mexes from Auxerre even though the French club didn’t agree to the deal. The club had a one-year transfer ban as a punishment. You can make a bet on their win in Serie A on bet365. Their odds are 67.00 to do so. 

Possible effects of a transfer ban

Many think that transfer bans in football can hardly have any real effect on a club, especially in cases of giants like Real or Barca. They seem to be right if we check what happened with both clubs. Well, to be short, not much, what’s more, they become Spanish champions in the year of their bans. Real has also won the Champions League in 2017, even though they couldn’t sign anyone in the winter season. With such a huge squad of players, not buying any new players for the second part of the season just simply doesn’t make any difference for these clubs. 

It happened with Chelsea as well, though online gambling sites in the UK  gave them little chance to have a good season this year. But they are currently on the fourth place in the Premier League ahead of big rivals Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham. With the help of their own young players, who got the chance to prove themselves in the first team, the Blues are performing superbly. Fans can’t feel the lack of newly signed players. And though they don’t have much chance to become champions, to finish in the top four is a real possibility with the odds of 1.53. 

Smaller clubs can feel the ban more 

Not just big clubs can break the rules though, it can happen with smaller ones as well. When the Swiss club, FC Sion tried to sign Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, he was still in contract with his club of the time. Sion received a two-year ban and they were excluded from the Europa League. But the club appealed against the decision which almost started a battle between the Swiss Football Association and FIFA. The top organization was threatening with the exclusion of all Swiss clubs from European competitions if Sion’s ban was not actioned. Of course, they received the ban at the end alongside 36 points deduction.  They almost got relegated to the second tier, but they managed to stay up. Find all the odds for the Swiss Super League 2019/20 season on bet365. 

Another great loser of a transfer ban was Porstmouth. The club received this punishment after piling up huge amounts of debts towards clubs, their own players and staff. Thanks to their share from Premier League’s television revenue, they could settle their disputes with the other clubs and payout everyone. But after that, they still struggled with their finances, and the club went into administration. Portsmouth are only in League 1 now, suffering a huge fall from the English top-level football. 

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