News that Chelsea has been slapped with a 12 month transfer ban will no doubt have made lots of people laugh very hard, while Chelsea fans fume at their board’s seemingly endless capacity to tarnish the name of the club and heap trouble upon itself.
So it’s hardly surprising that former Racing Club de Lens general manager Francois Collado warned both Peter Kenyon and Frank Arnesen that his club would lodge a complaint with Fifa, and that Chelsea would suffer a 12-month transfer ban. Of course the pair completely ignored the threat, and continued their pursuit of Gael Kakuta, who had signed a pre-contract agreement with Lens that he would sign as soon as he turned 17, the first available possibility for a French footballer.
‘The contract was rubber-stamped by the French league and French football federation,’ said Collado. ‘But Chelsea took him and played in a tournament with all their reserves, even without international clearance. When I met with Kenyon and Arnesen at Chelsea I took the contract. I told Kenyon, “You're risking a fine and a transfer ban”. I explained the Fifa rules to him.
‘Kenyon spoke with Arnesen and he said they were sure of their intentions. We said this is what we want and they said no way. They proposed a ridiculous fee. I said I'll leave you and if you're sure then I'll go to Fifa and we'll see if you're not sanctioned. They said there would be no need for another meeting.
‘They were convinced they were right: Chelsea didn't imagine Lens could stop a club like Chelsea from recruiting players. But that ban is only the application of the laws we told Chelsea very well would come.’