Unless their expected appeals are successful, the soonest we’ll know how much the transfer bans handed down to Atletico and Real Madrid have hurt the clubs will be this time next year.
It’s a bit of a litmus test for the perceived myopia of transfer windows.
Five months later, Barca had won the UEFA Champions League, the Copa del Rey, and La Liga. Seven months later, they had convinced Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal to sign despite their inability to play until the bans expired this month. So, they dealt with it pretty well.
Word of possible suspensions for Atletico and Real came in April, with the punishment laid down, but not administered, on Thursday. The suspensions throw this transfer window for a loop, since both clubs can operate at will for the next two weeks.
How much will they be hurt? Barcelona got through the bans with little problem despite a two-month layoff for Lionel Messi amongst other ailments, but the Camp Nou set is perhaps the biggest club in the world with just as celebrated a youth set-up.
We know little of the other La Liga sides plans for the future, and how much this fast-forwards them. It certainly mandates quicker work on the David De Gea front for Real Madrid, and gives all the power to Manchester United.
In fact, nearly any club working with Real or Atleti has the power. Though also, theoretically, there is one less major buyer on the market for the next two windows, which could lower selling prices. Let’s face it: clubs like Real overpay because they can.
This is going to be quite interesting to monitor moving forward.