the general direction of Stamford
Bridge after the CAS decision
to suspend their transfer ban. Just look at some of the comments on the
But that bile is unlikely to be of concern to Chelsea. The initial
decision following the Gael Kakuta affair was threatening to derail what has
been an extremely promising season so far, but this latest one should mean
Carlo Ancelotti's side can continue to concentrate on their charge for various
pieces of silverware.
The main impact of the decision seems to be two-fold.
First, the Blues will now be able to far better cope with the
loss of their African Cup of Nations-bound players by bringing in new blood in
And second, they will now be able to prepare for any potential
ban which may come in the future by stocking up on a glut of players once the
window opens in the New Year.
Both will detrimental to their rivals' title hopes, which
were raised by the initial ban, although we now have a situation no different
to the one we had at beginning of the season.
The view that 'moneybags Chelsea have got away with it again' is a
little too easy. Yes, they appealed in the knowledge that the process would likely
be held up, but they were entitled to do that.
And do not forget, Chelsea
may yet be punished. Prepared or not, an 18-month transfer ban is a tough
sanction to deal with.
Whatever happened to the concept of being innocent until
proven guilty, anyway? ED is loath to politicise but if Chelsea were to be banned from transfer
dealings in January only for the Kakuta case against them to be thrown out, how
could FIFA justify their actions? Especially if Chelsea's season fell apart because of the
ban. Would they be recompensed? And how?
According to legal eagle Ian Blackshaw, who must know what
he's talking about because he's a professor, an appeal must be decided within
Now ED is nowhere near as clever, but it can still do the
sums. The Kakuta affair reared its head in early September. Had a swift charge
and a prompt deadline for appeal been imposed, another four months would have
taken us to early January, with more than half the transfer window still
ED's hastily assembled pre-weekend conclusion? FIFA and CAS should
have shifted their backsides a great deal quicker. Had they done so, we could
all be talking about Sunday's big game between Chelsea and Manchester United, instead
of a ban that may or may not be imposed.
COMING UP: Three FA Cup third round games and one in the Championship to enjoy tonight: