Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Chelsea banned from signing players until 2011

Bizarre and shocking news from FIFA, who have banned Chelsea from signing any players until January 2011, following the judgement on Chelsea’s signing of Gael Kakuta. The statement can be found here.

This could have a profound effect on Chelsea, a club not shy of bringing in players in the past. While they do have a massive squad, they could still be in trouble if players are injured, retire or decide to leave the club. They will not be able to strengthen themselves at all.

That’s not to mention the impact this will have on their youth development work – this could set them back years if they can’t sign any new prospects.

I fully expect Chelsea to appeal (and with their cash get the best lawyers in the land), and footballing authorities do seem to make a habit of backing down, so this could turn out to be a fuss over nothing. Alternatively, this could be strike one against teams poaching players, with a genuine sanction rather than a token one for once, as this will punish Chelsea for their actions far more than any fine could.

When will England’s cricketers learn not to play football?

You would have thought Matt Prior’s back spasms brought on by playing football prior to the fourth Ashes Test would have been warning enough, wouldn’t you? But no, here we go again, with Joe Denly today hurting his knee following a tackle from Owais Shah.

Will the team ever learn? How is playing football a sensible and safe warm-up activity for a cricketer? Even footballers don’t warm up by playing football right away, they run and they stretch first. They wouldn’t leap in with wild tackles when they did start kicking the ball around, either. And they certainly don’t pick up a bat and start playing cricket.