By DAN KARELL
Barcelona will be unable to sign any new players in 2015.
Two days before the new year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed an appeal from Barcelona of a two-window FIFA transfer ban due to improper registration of minors. FIFA originally issued the ban last April but pending an appeal to FIFA, Barcelona were allowed to sign players during last summer’s transfer window.
FIFA then denied the appeal but Barcelona brought it to the CAS, who issued their response on Tuesday morning. The decision means Barcelona will be unable to bring in any new players from outside of the club, not including players away on loan, until Jan. 2016. Barcelona will also have to pay a fine of CHF 450,000.
In response to the decision, Barcelona released a fiery statement, stating that the punishment is “completely disproportionate” and “excessive” and that Barcelona “totally disagrees” with the denial of the appeal.
“FC Barcelona wishes to state, with all due respect for the sports authorities, that it totally disagrees with the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced today to confirm the sanction originally imposed by FIFA as a consequence of the alleged breach of regulations on the international transfer of minor footballers,” the statement reads.
In their last transfer window, Barcelona brought in no less than seven players including the €80+ million transfer of Luis Suarez, the acquisition of centerbacks Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu, center midfielder Ivan Rakitic, and goalkeepers Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Here are some more stories to start off your Tuesday:
WENGER HITS OUT AT REPORTS OF PODOLSKI LEAVING
Reports continue to swirl around the future of Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski, but manager Arsene Wenger isn’t having any of it.
The Arsenal boss termed the reports of Podolski’s exit to Inter Milan this January “a joke,” and claimed that Wenger hopes the German international will remain at Arsenal.
“Inter Milan is not serious,” Wenger said at his press conference ahead of Arsenal’s New Years Day match against Southampton. “I want him to stay. Apart from that, what is to be pro is as long as you’re somewhere, you give your best to justify your wages and your love for the club.”
The reports of Podolski heading to Italy have only intensified after playing a bit-part role in the first half of Arsenal’s 2014/2015 season. Podolski has seen his appearances reduced significantly since joining in 2012 and has only made seven English Premier League appearances this season, all off the bench, without scoring a goal. He’s scored three goals in five UEFA Champions League matches.
PARDEW IN TALKS WITH CRYSTAL PALACE
Alan Pardew is set to depart Newcastle just three years into an eight-year contract.
Newcastle confirmed multiple reports in England on Tuesday that Pardew is in discussions with his former club, Crystal Palace, to become their next manager. Crystal Palace parted ways with former manager Neil Warnock last Saturday.
“Crystal Palace have offered compensation at a level whereby Alan has now been permitted to speak to them,” a Newcastle statement read.
In Pardew’s place, assistants John Carver and Steve Stone took charge of training on Tuesday and are set to manage the club in their next two matches, against Burnley and Leicester in the EPL and FA Cup, respectively.
Valencia and Benfica have agreed on a reported €25 million transfer fee for Argentine midfielder Enzo Perez. (REPORT)
Juventus are in talks to acquire FC Porto’s Brazilian centerback Rolando on a loan with the option to buy. (REPORT)
Cruz Azul have acquired Paraguayan forward Roque Santa Cruz in a transfer from Malaga. (REPORT)
Newcastle forward Papiss Cisse has been suspended for three games after accepting a charge of violent conduct from the FA for an elbow to Everton’s Seamus Coleman. (REPORT)
Queens Park Rangers are set to sign West Ham forward Mauro Zarate on loan until the end of the season. (REPORT)
West Bromwich Albion have confirmed that they’ve parted ways with manager Alan Irvine. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you see Barcelona appealing the decision again? Do you think they’re in a good enough position to survive without new signings? Do you see Podolski leaving in January?
Share your thoughts below.
At first glance I would not be surprised to see many soccer enthusiastic labeling the punishment as “too harsh”. Certainly it does seem that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) wanted to send a statement to soccer federations and clubs that such infringements would not be tolerated. CAS could of opted to increase the $ fine and/or suspend Barcelona to one window transfer or some other combination thereof. However one would have to take into consideration that both Barcelona and the Spanish soccer federation were found guilty of “serious” infringement of rules for 10 players, and sanctions from Fifa disciplinary committee were suspended earlier in the year enabling Barcelona to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool for €95m, plus buying defenders Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal and Jeremy Mathieu from Valenica, midfielder Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla and goalkeepers Claudio Bravo from Real Sociedad and Marc-André ter Stegen from Borussia Monchengladbach in a summer spree of more than €150m.
Not a bad break if you ask me.