Chelsea face losing millions if found guilty of Premier League FFP breach following email

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly
-Credit: (Image: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

Chelsea have been told they might be ordered to hand over millions of pounds if they are found to have breached Premier League transaction rules.

The Premier League has reportedly written to all 20 of its members reminding them that over-inflating transfer fees to circumvent Profit & Sustainability Rules [PSR] will land them in hot water, if deemed to have knowingly done so.

There has been concern in recent weeks that clubs who are close to cash-loss limits might be agreeing bloated transfer figures between them to ensure they stay under PSR thresholds before Sunday’s deadline.

These concerns have not been substantiated and the Premier League has not tabled any allegations. However, recent transfers involving Chelsea and others have led to speculation that a PSR loophole has been found.

Chelsea sold Ian Maatsen to Aston Villa - both of whom are suspected to be near cash limits - for £37.5m this week, while the Blues are close to purchasing rising 18-year-old talent Omari Kellyman for £19m from the Villans.

The Telegraph, which said the Premier League contacted its clubs via email, says Villa are adamant Maatsen’s move was a long-term objective amid a need for a new left-back. Meanwhile, Villa have purchased Everton striker Lewis Dobbin for £10m, with Tim Iroegbunam going the other way for £9m.

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The Premier League is said to have reminded clubs that they have the right to request information on all deals, including regarding negotiations and correspondence. If clubs are adjudged to have not acted in ‘good faith’ or solely within their own interests, then the League can impose ‘fair market value’ [FMV] rules.

These take into account the specifics around a player’s situation including aspects such as age, sporting success and injury history while the finance capability of the clubs involved are also assessed. These categories are listed in the Premier League handbook.

Clubs receiving a fee can record the cash immediately as a lump sum, while buying teams can amortise - or spread out - the cost over several years in light of loss limits.

If it is deemed that clubs have agreed an over-inflated price knowingly, then the Premier League can order its members to pay back the transfer fee in part or in full.

Jamie Herbert, the Premier League’s director of governance, was the one to send out the email to clubs, according to the Telegraph.