On February 22nd, Chelsea were handed a two-window transfer ban by FIFA for failing to comply with Article 19 (Protection of Minors) of the transfer regulations in the case of 29 minor players while also breaching Article 18bis (Third Party Influence on Clubs) in two other scenarios.
As was expected, Chelsea have decided to file a formal appeal against the transfer ban but the decision on when the appeal will be heard or whether the sanction would be suspended during the appeal has not been made yet.
All the clubs who had been hit with a transfer ban appealed the initial decision, although only Real Madrid were successful in reducing the length of the ban (from two windows to one). Both Barcelona and Atlético Madrid had to serve the full punishment, though by appealing, they did delay the start by one window. And that’s certainly what Chelsea will be hoping for at minimum, allowing the club to conduct business as normal this summer.
#FIFA spokesman on #cfc transfer ban:— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) March 5, 2019
"We can confirm that FIFA has received an appeal from Chelsea FC over the said case.
As already communicated, there is no exact timetable for the hearings and decisions taken by the FIFA Appeal Committee, and any decision on the sanction...
"remaining in place during the appeal process is to be taken by the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee. Further, please understand that as a general rule we do not make comparisons with previous cases."— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) March 5, 2019
However, FIFA can decide to enforce the ban during the appeal as well, although that's not something they have done in the previous cases. According to their statement, how previous cases were handled will not influence the decision whether to enforce the ban during Chelsea's appeal, but precedent is an important concept in the world of lawyers so it would be very surprising if Chelsea were singled out thusly.
But until the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee gives his ruling, we won't know for sure whether we can make any new signings this summer (register any new signings, to be more accurate).