UEFA are set to change the rules around spending ahead of the summer transfer window after Chelsea and Todd Boehly ruthlessly exploited a loophole in their current legislation to spend over £500m in six months.
As it stands, Financial Fair Play dictates that clubs can ‘incur losses of €60m over three years’, while “a spending cap (the so-called ‘squad cost ratio’) on wages, transfers and agents’ fees to 70 per cent of a club’s total revenue by 2025-2026″ has also been introduced.
However, Boehly and Chelsea have found a loophole, and it lies in the length of player contracts on offer.
With player signings, any transfer fee is split evenly over the length of their new contract, known as amortization. For instance, though Mkyhaylo Mudryk has set the Blues back a fee of around 70m euros, he has signed an 8.5 year contract at Stamford Bridge, the longest in the Premier League’s history, meaning that for the sake of financial fair play he will only cost Chelsea 8.75m euros (£7.7m) per season.
It is also why the likes of Wesley Fofana, Noni Madueke and Beniot Badiashile have all signed deals keeping them at Stamford Bridge until 2030, allowing Chelsea to spread the cost of the transfers across more time and, in turn, save themselves money this year in order to keep spending while complying with financial fair play.
It is something that UEFA have taken issue with, according to the Times, who claim that Todd Boehly’s exploitation is something that they will look to prevent clubs from repeating in the future, by restricting how long they will allow player transfers to be paid over to a maximum of five years.
“Officials at European football’s governing body are planning to set a five-year maximum for the length of time over which a player’s transfer fee can be spread, with the new policy brought in before the summer transfer window”, they report.
Boehly’s American style transfers have reportedly angered other clubs, including his growing reputation for hijacking other club’s deals, but the new rule implementation could well feel to some like shutting the door after the horse has already bolted.