Chelsea contracts to lead to Financial Fair Play rules change by Uefa

Mykhailo Mudryk
Mykhailo Mudryk made his Chelsea debut as a substitute against Liverpool on Saturday

Uefa is to change its Fair Play rules in response to Chelsea’s new trend of signing players on long-term contracts.

Signing players on extended contracts allows Chelsea to spread the player’s transfer fee over the life of that contract when submitting their annual accounts.

That means £89m signing of Mykhailo Mudryk will be valued at £11m a year on an eight-and-a-half-year deal.

Uefa has to set a five-year limit over which a transfer fee can be spread.

Clubs will still be able to offer long-term deals under UK regulations but will not be able to extend transfer fees beyond the first five years.

The change to FFP rules will come into force during the summer and will not take place prospectively.

France defense Benoit Badiashile and the Ivory Coast footballer David Datro Fofana both signed six-and-a-half-year contracts at Chelsea earlier this month and Noni Madueke join him a seven-and-a-half contract following Ukraine winger Mudryk’s arrival.

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Defender Wesley Fofana moved to Stamford Bridge on a seven-year contract and left-back Marc Cucurella He joined a six-year contract last summer. Raheem Sterling’s contract is five years.

Madueke’s transfer took Chelsea’s spending from last summer close to £450m, but the players’ long contracts will help them comply with the regulations.

The Blues have to adhere to two regulations – Premier League game and stability rules and, as they always play in European competition, Uefa’s FFP regulations.

Under current Uefa rules, clubs can spend up to 5m euros (£4.4m) more than they earn over three years. They can exceed this level to a limit of 30m euros (£26.6m) if it is fully covered by the club’s owner.

The governing body has a long list of potential punishments for teams that break these rules, ranging from warnings to fines and even the loss of European titles.

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However, new Uefa rules introduced last June limit clubs’ spending on wages, transfers and agents’ fees to 70% of their revenue, although the losses allowed are the three-year period has risen to 60m euros (£49.96m).

We have adopted a gradual implementation of some regulations, with the share set at 90% of revenue in 2023-24 and 80% in 2024-25 before reducing to 70% in 2025-26.

The Premier League’s separate rules allow for total losses of £105m over a three-year period. Any club that posts losses in excess of that figure could face penalties, including hefty fines or even the deduction of certain points.

Uefa keeps clubs out of danger – analysis

Some may wonder why Uefa is getting involved in this and suggest that it should be up to Chelsea, or any other club for that matter, to offer the contracts they want as long as they follow the rules.

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However, the belief in the shift away from Financial Stability processes to financial stability is made to make the game work in a way that does not put the parties at risk.

Uefa, as the regulator, feels that it is its responsibility to ensure that the game is run in such a way that the teams are not at too much of a risk to themselves.

By amortizing the players over a long period, the club is limiting their scope for spending in the future because the value of the players is reduced more slowly than normally would be the case.

The feeling is that Chelsea is the ultimate example, if others follow, they can get themselves into trouble.

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