Barcelona may be one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world, but they have to face their punishment like every other team. The Catalan club is banned from conducting transfers during the January and summer transfer windows, with no exceptions.
After losing defender Thomas Vermaelen to a long term injury, Barcelona attempted to request permission for an additional signing in January. They want to buy a defender who can replace Vermaelen until the end of this season. However, FIFA has refused their request, citing the Vermaelen injury as occurring after he signed with Barcelona.
They may feel hard done by after this decision, but Barcelona only have themselves to blame regarding the Vermaelen situation. This is a defender who has barely managed to play three or four games in a row, let alone complete an entire season injury free. He had a different injury at the time of his signing, which should have been a warning to Barcelona.
It was reported a few weeks ago that the club’s medical staff “begged” senior officials to block the Vermaelen signing because of his injury record. They knew he would be a problem, but signed him anyway. Requesting an exemption from their transfer ban because of bad planning shows how poorly the club is being managed.