Chelsea have spent a staggering amount of £585m which is more than most clubs in this transfer window but still within FFP rules.
Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital have spent more than £500 million in only two windows thanks to a British record deal to bring in Enzo Fernandez for more than £106 million.
In this article, Futballnews explains why Chelsea are currently exempted from financial fair play fines, yet Champions League qualification is crucial.
With final contracts signed on Tuesday by director of global talent and transfers Paul Winstanley and co-controlling owner Behdad Egbhali, the club accounted for about a quarter of all spending in English football in recent months.
Despite dominating its competitors by a wide margin, the club has a well-thought-out plan in place to make sure there is no immediate risk of breaking financial fair play regulations.
The club is certain they can fend off the Uefa number crunchers because to their strategy of spreading payments on incoming transfers and their significant interest in academy graduates.
Long contracts with regular payments
Chelsea has been clever in taking advantage of Uefa regulations that still permit total fees to be divided among contracts. Fernandez won’t be listed as a one-time, £106 million+ purchase.
The club and Benfica had been negotiating how to divide the total cost of the agreement into one large payment and five smaller ones.
However, it is more crucial in terms of FFP that payments can be disclosed throughout the contract that is given to Fernandez.
Therefore, it was safe to predict that he would be announced on a long-term contract.
This is consistent with the tactics used by Chelsea during their remarkable January transfer window, which saw them sign Mykhailo Mudryk for £88 million, Joao Felix on loan, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, as well as a number of other talented players.
While France defender Badiashile inked a seven-and-a-half year term following his £35 million move from Monaco, Mudryk secured an eight-and-a-half year deal.
The Mudryk cost can be amortized over the eight years of his contract, or about £10 million per year.
Recent success and a changed FFP system
Prior to the Boehly consortium takeover, recent on-field success—the Champions League in 2021 and the European Super Cup—represented a good cushion against setbacks.
These two trophies effectively gave the club an extra £119 million over the existing method of calculating losses over a three-year period.
With that first measure of protection, Chelsea is now able to spend lavishly as Uefa’s new Financial Sustainability and Club Licensing Regulations (FSCLR) are gradually implemented.
Clubs will eventually be restricted to spending no more than 70% of their annual revenue on player salaries, trades, and agent fees, under a new “squad cost management” rule.
However, for this year, the cap is a pretty forgiving 90℅ and timing is crucial.
The summer is probably when the loophole that allowed those deals to be acquired over such lengthy contracts will be closed.
The governing body of European football is prepared to set a five-year limit on how long a player’s transfer price may be spread out by the following transfer window.
Chelsea Academy – the world’s leading academy generating ‘pure profit’
One of football’s top academies was left to the current owners. Under sustainability regulations, selling on graduates can thus be labeled pure profit.
Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori were recently sold to Serie A clubs for prices totaling more than £60 million.
If Chelsea wants to keep spending at their current rate, according to Kieran Maguire, a specialist in football finance at Liverpool University, impending sales of homegrown talent will be crucial.
“Abraham, Tomori are pure profit on sales,” he said in an interview. “Conor Gallagher, Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi could be potentially the same. Crucially, you can take all the profit in the year of sale but spread purchases over the life of contract via amortisation.”
Maguire adds that a £40 million sale of Gallagher would virtually equal.
Chelsea and the Champions League gamble
There is some risk in Chelsea’s strategy. After making such significant purchases, missing out on the Champions League this summer would be heartbreaking and may force a reassessment.
The lesser European events are worth around a sixth of that potential earnings, and Chelsea earned about £106 million for winning their most recent Champions League.
If you don’t qualify, there is a “considerable knock-on effect,” Maguire continues.
Regardless of Chelsea’s final standing, Boehly has fulfilled a promise he made to supporters when his drawn-out takeover eventually ended in May of last year.
Taking into account the investments the new owners had committed to making, the purchase price for the club came to a total of £4.25 billion.
He had won the race to purchase the team in large part because to the same high-spending strategy he had employed with success at the LA Dodgers.
Then, Boehly assured the crowd that efforts to develop talent will continue in order to “build on Chelsea’s remarkable history of success.”
UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations
The UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP) are a collection of rules designed to stop professional football teams from spending more money than they make in an effort to succeed. By doing this, they can avoid financial difficulties that could endanger their long-term survival.
Some have claimed that they were put in place to stop outside sources from financially “doping” smaller clubs.
The Financial Control Panel of the European Football Association’s governing body approved them in September 2009. (Union of European Football Associations – UEFA).
The rules call for clubs who overspend over the course of several seasons and within a predetermined budgetary framework to face penalties. The rules were put into effect at the start of the 2011–12 football season.
Disqualification from European events is the harshest penalty.
Fines, the withholding of prize money, and player transfer bans were some further sanctions.