Chelsea contracts prompt UEFA to change Financial Fair Play rules

UEFA will change its Financial Fair Play rules in response to Chelsea's recent trend of signing players on long-term contracts

The London club have most recently been involved in a flurry of successful transfer negotiations, tying players down to long contracts to spread the impact of their spending across a greater period of time.

Just this month alone, Chelsea signed Benoit Badiashile and Noni Madueke on seven-and-a-half year deals, with the latter having the option to extend by a further year. Additionally, Mykhailo Mudryk signed an eight-and-a-half year contract.

However, it has now been reported that a number of clubs in Europe have raised concerns with the continent’s governing body UEFA over Chelsea’s policy – which is deemed to be a loophole around financial fair play.

Chelsea is exploiting the same financial resources as other clubs and most large companies around the world. The use of amortization to differ expenses. In football, amortization allows a team to split the cost of a trade and spread it over the duration of the contract that the player has signed. In other words, if a player costs 100 million euros and signs for 5 seasons, each season will have an amortization cost and an impact of 20 million euros on top of the salary.

This season, Chelsea has signed several players for a large amount. The most recent case is Mudryk, who cost 100 million euros (plus variables), although the key piece of the operation is his contract; he signed for 8 and a half years, it’s the longest contract in the history of the Premier League.

In theory, FIFA rules establish a ceiling of 5 years for the duration of a contract, but there are loopholes that Chelsea has exploited to differ the expense.

On its part, UEFA will look over the case and is ready to crack down on all the regulatory loopholes that Chelsea has taken advantage of to flex their checkbook and sign players left and right.

The association has already approved a rule that bans amortizations for longer than five years, although the rule won’t come into play until next season, and the full application of the rule might take up to three years. This means that the English club won’t be affected, but it will keep trading frenzies like the one with Chelsea from happening again.

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