Former Chelsea chairman Ken Bates believes the Blues' transfer ban is the result of a wider practice that sees top clubs trade young players "like horsemeat".

Carlo Ancelotti's side were rocked this week by a FIFA ban on signing any players during the next two transfer windows after luring teenager Gael Kakuta from Lens, a decision they intend to appeal.

Bates, successfully won a reported £5million compensation payment from the Blues in 2006 after they signed teenagers Michael Woods and Tom Taiwo from Leeds, told the Daily Mail: "Right now some of these boys are just being traded like horsemeat."

He added: "They are like Japanese fishing trawlers, just sweeping up everything in their nets.

"The problem here is that the big clubs are stripping the small clubs of their youngsters."

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