On Friday morning, FIFA handed Chelsea a two-window transfer ban, blocking the club from purchasing players until the summer of 2020.
It comes after the Blues are judged to have breached rules in relation to youth players - and the news couldn't have been announced at a worse time.
Manager Maurizio Sarri is under intense pressure at the moment after a run of bad results that includes big defeats to Bournemouth, Manchester City and Manchester United.
Many fans have demanded that Chelsea make significant upgrades to personnel in the next window but that looks unlikely to happen now.
Of course, the club can appeal FIFA's decision and potentially delay the ban long enough to sign players this summer, but they'll likely just be delaying the inevitable.
What's even worse, is that Eden Hazard now has an excuse to leave, because it looks like significant squad improvement won't be made.
He's been the star man this season and is arguably on a level above most of his teammates. Should he push for a move to Real Madrid as widely reported, fans could hardly blame him.
Interestingly though, the latest reports coming out of Spain suggest that Los Blancos have gone 'cold' on a move for the Belgian.
NO LONGER WANTED?
According to Marca, 'the deal looks dead' due to a number of recent developments - one of which is Chelsea's transfer ban.
The Madrid hierarchy are keen on a move for Hazard, but Chelsea's embargo means they'll be less keen to sell their forward and the Spanish club no longer 'see his move clearly'.
There's another reason the deal has gone cold too.
Thanks to 'the surge to form of Vinicius Junior and the imminent arrival of Rodrygo', Real believe they now have plenty of attacking options and 'have put the brakes' on the Hazard operation.
Right now, Marca suggest that the Belgian's future is unclear and complications surrounding Chelsea's transfer ban have contributed to that.
So, FIFA's decision to penalise the London club might not be as damaging as fans first thought, especially if it leads to Madrid going off the idea of signing Hazard next summer.News Now - Sport News