Chelsea hit with fresh FFP reality as new UEFA rules could impact European qualification

Todd Boehly

Chelsea are reportedly likely to have some struggles to comply with UEFA's financial rules if they qualify for Europe next season.

UEFA's rules are more restrictive than the Premier League's when it comes to the amount of money clubs can lose. The European body closed a loophole around long player contracts which had been used by Chelsea.

The club signed a number of players on lengthy deals over the last two transfer windows. Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk both signed an eight-and-a-half-year contract in January of last year.

The Blues' financial losses may be a concern along with Aston Villa, who have insisted that they are complying with the Premier League's Profitability and Sustainability Rules despite a £119.6million loss last season. Villa have already guaranteed a place in Europe next campaign and if Uefa does take any action over its financial rules, it will likely happen next year.

In addition, Chelsea's claimed profit of £76.5m for selling two hotels to a sister company, has still not been approved by the Premier League, with the deal executed ten months ago. UEFA insists such deals need to be of fair market value.

According to The Times, after UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) system was replaced under the new 'football earnings' rules, clubs in Europe next season will be allowed to have lost a maximum of £34m (€40m) over the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons. The Premier League's maximum permitted losses are of £105m over three seasons and Chelsea look to be at risk of breaching those rules unless they sell their star players.

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A total of £89.8m loss was recorded by Chelsea last season and they will have no Champions League income this season. They spent a top-flight record of £75m on agent fees alone this season.

In the previous two windows, the club signed 21 players at an initial cost of £454m and made a £48m profit after selling ten players. Last summer, Chelsea agreed a £9m (€10m) settlement with UEFA for undeclared payments made during the previous ownership which is said to still being investigated by the Premier League.

Furthermore, UEFA closed an amortisation loophole that allowed clubs to spread the cost of transfer fee. That will no longer be possible after UEFA imposed a five-year maximum for players signed after July 1.

Chelsea will now have to split the £115m fee for signing Moises Caicedo over five years instead of the eight years of his contract. Chairman Todd Boehly expects the club to comply with UEFA's rules, saying: "The club continues to balance success on the field together with the financial imperatives of complying with UEFA and Premier League financial regulations.

"The club has complied with these since their inception in 2012 and expects to do so in the foreseeable future."

Juventus were recently excluded from European competition for breaching financial rules.