Real Madrid and their cross town neighbours Atletico seem to be about to follow Barcelona into FIFA's bad books.
Allegedly both clubs have fallen foul of the governing body's rules and regulations and the sanction is most likely to be a two-window transfer embargo, the same punishment which befell the Catalans at the beginning of this campaign.
Although Barca are now sweeping all before them and appear to be none the worse for having a ban imposed, that certainly wasn't the case at the beginning of the season. And with another window almost upon us plus the first five months of next season needing to be out of the way before Barca can flex their muscles, who's to say that this won't end up being a watershed period for the Blaugrana.
Both clubs will appeal
Should any ban for the Madrid sides come into force, the likelihood is that both will appeal in the same way that Barcelona did. This would at least allow them some breathing space to make a number of purchases - Barca made seven in the intervening period - and stock up in the areas where back up is required.
Real would be better placed to do so given that Florentino Perez always seems to find cash from somewhere. Atleti almost always have to sell to buy and although Mario Mandzukic would be a big loss, he is clearly unhappy and if the Rojiblancos can recoup most of what they paid for him then it's a deal which Diego Simeone is likely to sanction.
It's not as if they struggle at the loss of their best players either.
Big name conveyer belt
Forlan, Aguero, Torres, Costa...all have passed through the Vicente Calderon yet the studious transfer policy of the club in general terms has seen to it that the first team always continues in the same vein.
What a shame it would be if the nuances of that same transfer policy were to blame for an 18 month stop on new faces coming in to freshen up the squad. If rumours of Ancelotti being moved on are correct, and they have come from the mouth of Sky Sports' La Liga expert Graham Hunter so way wouldn't they be, then Zinedine Zidane's first season in charge will begin and end with exactly the same staff in situ.
Given that he has never managed at senior level before now, he is going to have a hard enough time to adjust as it is. He would have to be some kind of miracle worker if he's able to keep the team competitive once injuries come to bear, if he is unable to bring in any reinforcements.
Wrong time for Zidane?
Indeed, Perez may well now be regretting his decision to fast-track the Frenchman into the top job. Very rarely do the best players make great managers, but to give them the best possible opportunity for success, then at least let the man have a level playing field.
It shouldn't hurt Atleti quite so much as they are used to operating at a lower level than their neighbours. Simeone has shown how astute he is at spotting a bargain, and getting the very best from them, so as long as any appeals process allows for transfers for a specified period, expect the Argentinian to operate as normal.
Any closure of the January 2016 transfer window will definitely hurt both clubs however as that's when Barca and their war chest that has been gathering dust for the last 18 months are back in the game.
There'll be no competition for silverware from Madrid if the status quo has remained the same and therefore the ramifications become huge and far-reaching.
A final decision is expected soon. What do you think the outcome will be? Let us know in the comments box below.
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