The Blues have spent over £600 million on new signings since Todd Boehly’s takeover of the club in 2022. Given this fee – a club high – many have asked the question, how are Chelsea not breaking FFP?
FFP rules were introduced in 2011 in order to prevent clubs from overspending. Due to some teams like Manchester City and PSG boasting superior budgets compared to most clubs, it was felt this could jeopardise the competitiveness of tournaments. The purpose of the regulations is to stop clubs from spending more than what they earn. In addition to improving the competitiveness of tournaments, it also helps to help the clubs keep themselves afloat.
So far, Chelsea’s spending has not gone according to plan. The club has failed to attain European qualification for next season despite having added the likes of Enzo Fernandez, Raheem Sterling and Wesley Fofana to their squad.
The Premier League’s FFP rules stipulate that clubs can earn a loss of £105 million over three years. Chelsea managed to circumvent this by exploiting a loophole in the regulations. They did this by handing lengthy contracts to players. This allowed the cost of the transfer to be spread across the length of the contracts that were handed to players. By doing this, the entire value of the transfer was not included in a single year’s expenditure list.
The likes of Mykhailo Mudryk and Fernandez have been signed to eight-year deals, which will see them remain at Stamford Bridge until 2031. While this move could prove to be ingenious if the players live up to expectations, it could severely backfire and prove to be problematic if they do not adapt to life in West London.
The Blues hierarchy were also aware that transfer fees that they received would immediately help to balance their books, such as the £12 million fee that they gained from selling Jorginho to Arsenal. Possibly as a result of Chelsea’s actions during the current season, UEFA are expected to change their amortisation rules at the end of the season. They are expected to limit clubs to only a five-year spread of transfer costs, which may resurface the question of how Chelsea are not breaking FFP.
Prior to this summer, Chelsea also did invest heavily with the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech coming to the club on expensive deals. The club though is unlikely to face any sanctions over this. As a result of the financial harm wrought onto clubs due to the pandemic, UEFA have gone easy on clubs for the time being for excessive spending.
Based on Chelsea’s performances on the field this season, it looks like they will have to seriously reduce the amount of money that they spend on buying new players next season. They will certainly miss out on Champions League football. This means that they will miss out on the riches that come with participating in Europe’s premier club competition. The club have been regulars in the competition for more than a decade.