Chelsea transfer nightmare: Uefa forced to change rules to stop Todd Boehly exploiting loophole

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly prior to the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Saturday October 22, 2022.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly prior to the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Saturday October 22, 2022.

The London club has reportedly spent £450m on players since last summer

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Football governing body Uefa is to change its Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules following Chelsea’s recent trend of signing players on long-term contracts.

The London club has been offering new signings contracts over six or more years, enabling Chelsea to spread the cost of the transfer fee over the life of contract.

Mykhailo Mudryk signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in January
Mykhailo Mudryk signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in January

The £89million purchase of forward Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk, who signed an eight-and-a-half-year deal, will be valued at £11million a year.

The new Uefa rule, which will come into force during the summer, will force a five-year limit over which a transfer fee can be spread.

This won’t stop clubs being able to offer longer contracts under UK regulations, but they won’t be able to stretch the transfer fee past the first five years.

Chelsea have signed fifteen players under new owner Todd Boehly, who bought the club last year, spending nearly £450million since last summer.

Thanks to the loophole within the regulations the long contracts help them comply with Uefa’s existing rules.

The Blues, currently managed by Graham Potter, have to follow two different sets of regulation – the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules as Uefa’s FFP.

The Uefa rules mean clubs can spend up to €5million (or £4.4million) more than they earn over a three-year period, but they can exceed this up to €30million (or £26.6million) if the club’s owner completely covers the cost.

Failure to comply with the regulations can lead to fines or the loss of European titles.

New rules introduce last year mean clubs are limited on how much they can spend on wages, transfers and agents’ fees to the sum of 70 per cent of their revenue.

The rule will change over time, with the percentage increasing to 90 per cent of revenue in 2023-24, before lowering to 80 per cent in 2024-25 and back to 70 per cent in 2025-26.

The Premier League’s rules allow for total losses of £105million over a three-year period.

With some questioning if Chelsea are being punished for exploiting a loophole, others believe the change to FFP rules is to make the game more financially responsible.