March 27, 2023

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“Nothing good, everything just gets worse and worse.” How transfers work in the era of sanctions

Barça have only 8 goals conceded in La Liga, the best record in the 21st century. But in Europe there are even more reliable teams

Barça have only 8 goals conceded in La Liga, the best record in the 21st century. But in Europe there are even more reliable teams

“If you add Udinese’s debt for Biyola, you get an amount that could cover almost a third of CSKA’s annual budget,” CSKA general director Roman Babaev said in late February, when asked about West Ham’s debt for Nikola Vlasic.

In the summer of 2021, the British bought the midfielder for 26.5 million euros, splitting the payment into several tranches. One of them – for 8.5 million – was supposed to fall into the account before July 31, 2022, but has not yet arrived in Moscow. It’s time for the next tranche – the chances of getting it are minimal.

In autumn, we analyzed in detail the problems of CSKA, Spartak and other clubs, and also explained how sanctions prevented the transfer of Arsen Zakharyan to Chelsea.

Six months have passed since then. It’s time to find out: how things have changed?

The FIFA Tribunal is for Russia, but so far only Loko has received the money. “Rostov” is suing in Lausanne, the case of “Spartak” is hanging

Due to problems with international bank transfers and the reluctance to transfer money to Russia, it was not only CSKA who had difficulties.

Spartak missed half of the 5.2 million euros for the loan of Alex Kral to West Ham. Rostov – 2 million euros for the loan of Matthias Normann to Norwich. Lokomotiv – 5.8 million euros for the transfer of Alexei Miranchuk to Atalanta.

It is impossible to return a football player who left for a full-fledged contract because of debts. In the case of a lease, the player, on the contrary, will return to the club after a while, and the debt will hang on the tenant. The only way to get money with such inputs is the court.

“The mechanism has not changed over the years. It used to be called the Dispute Resolution Chamber, now FIFA has merged the chamber and other bodies into a common institution – the FIFA Football Tribunal, says Mikhail Prokopets, partner at SILA Lawyers, to “If a club has a debt, he should apply there.”

After the decision of the Tribunal, the loser is set a deadline by which he must fulfill the court decision – to pay the debt. If the violator breaks the deadline, FIFA imposes sanctions on him. Although some sanctions are introduced automatically – even before the violation is eliminated.

According to the lawyer, the organization has several types of sanctions: “If a club behaves badly, loses several cases in a short time, they can be issued a warning. It’s not clear what it is, but it’s there. There is also a penalty. The toughest sanction is a ban on the registration of new players. The ban is the most effective, there is no other way.”

In the fall of 2022, Russian clubs actively used the FIFA Tribunal. For example, Lokomotiv won the dispute with Atalanta and three weeks later received not only the debt, but also penalties. The Italians also paid off Spartak – the red and whites received 85 thousand euros in solidarity payments, because Miranchuk was listed in the red and white academy for about a season. Spartak didn’t even go to court, they just bombarded them with letters,” a source familiar with the situation told

“Rostov” also won the Tribunal, but did not receive the millions due. According to, the club is now suing Norwich in CAS – the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.