Welcome to the club! Chelsea earns sympathy from non-league Gateshead

Chelsea's transfer ban has at least seen it earn some sympathy from Gateshead, which plays in England's fifth tier.

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri   -  Getty Images

Chelsea was given a two-window transfer ban by FIFA on Friday, but the Premier League club could find solace after a sympathetic tweet from non-league Gateshead.

The Blues have been told they cannot register new players for the next two transfer periods and been given a fine of 600,000 Swiss francs due to irregularities with the signings of youngsters, although it intends to appeal.

Given the speculation over the future of under-fire head coach Maurizio Sarri, the concerns of another possible damning defeat to Manchester City in Sunday's EFL Cup final and anxiety of Eden Hazard's long-term commitment, it was not something Chelsea fans would have been hoping for.

 

At least Gateshead seemed keen not to rub salt into the wounds, though, as it tweeted "Welcome to the club" following the news.

Gateshead was placed under a transfer embargo last year by the National League after it spent significantly above its budget.

However, as the club attested this week, the sanction has not caused too many problems. It sits within the play-off spots after 34 games, despite the drawbacks of, in its words: "Pre season relegation favourites + one of the smallest budgets in the league + a transfer embargo + a first time management team + 15 senior outfield players + one recognised striker."

Perhaps there is some hope for Chelsea after all.