UEFA rule change comes too late to stop Chelsea’s accounting trick which will allow for further big transfers this summer

Chelsea’s mega spend last summer saw some interesting tactics by the new ownership. They used long term contracts – in some cases as long as 8 years – to spread big transfer fees thin and allow for more short term spending.

An unprecedented £600m was spent by the Blues during the 12 months as Todd Boehly and his Clearlake Capital group refreshed the entire squad – with pretty unfortunate results so far.

It’s a risky move giving out those deals – football is hard to predict and there’s a reason clubs have historically been reluctant to commit to extremely long deals – but one that does have its benefits in account terms.

The Blues look like they will be the last team to benefit from it however. UEFA’s executive committee have just voted in favour of a reform which will cap transfer amortisation at 5 years.

The Daily Mirror report that transfer fees will now need to be paid over a maximum of 5 years, although this will only come into effect from now, so the benefits of last summer’s dealings will still apply.

This summary from the ExCo explains it nicely:

“In case of contract extension, the amortisation can be spread over the extended contract period but up to a maximum of five years from the date of the extension. Such a change will not restrict the way in which clubs operate (i.e. clubs that are allowed by their national governing bodies to conclude player contracts for a period exceeding five years can continue to do so) and will not apply retroactively to transfer operations that have already taken place.”

The spending on players like Mykhailo Mudryk back in January may yet prove to be a bad idea, but for now, that amortisation is allowing us to make further moves this summer.



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