Chelsea face “battle” to avoid punishment for financial breaches and could be kicked out of Europe

Chelsea are on their way to Europe, or so it seems. A late flurry of wins in the league and some easy fixtures to close out the season has put us in prime position to make the Europa League, and failing that the Conference League.

It’s not the glamour we’re used to, but it’s something, and it gives the players something to aim for. Many of these youngsters have no notable European experience at all, and it might in fact be more useful for them to go deep in the lesser competitions than to go straight into the Champions League anyway.

It also gives the club a bunch of new games to play – that isn’t great for fatigue and for Mauricio Pochettino’s training sessions, but it gives a great new pathway to young players.

But it won’t all be smooth sailing. Playing in a UEFA competition brings new spending rules, and we’re unlikely to comply with them, as things stand. That’s according to Martyn Ziegler’s piece in the Times today.

Crossing that bridge when (and if) we come to it

He says that we will face an “uphill battle” to comply with UEFA’s rules. This is mainly because the long contract amortisation loophole we used to build our Premier League squad was closed by UEFA before the Premier League. So anyone signed after July 1st last year (like Moises Caicedo) can only have their transfer fee split over a maximum of 5 years, rather than the full length of their contract.

We’re sure that Chelsea would rather get into Europe and pay the penalty than not make it. The punishment is likely to be fines, which is frustrating but not devastating. Juventus were excluded from Europe this year due to financial rule breaches, so there is some precedent. However our €10m settlement paid last summer clears away some charges, and it doesn’t feel like we would be hit to the same degree.

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