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Premier League to investigate among Liverpool rivals after transfer 'loophole' found

Andrey Santos and Ian Maatsen of Chelsea during a training session at Chelsea Training Ground on January 5, 2024 in Cobham, England.
-Credit: (Image: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)


Liverpool has so far been inactive in the transfer window. But certain Premier League rivals have started to creak into life, in a flurry of deals that are now set to come under investigation.

No club is accused or suspected of any wrongdoing. However, the Telegraph reports that there is growing 'skepticism' among rivals towards a series of transfers starting to go though ahead of June 30, the last date where deals can be counted towards the previous accounting period.

Newcastle United, Everton, Aston Villa and Chelsea are all mentioned in the report as clubs who have proposed or completed deals between themselves, drawing the attention of other clubs in the division (there's no mention of Liverpool's specific stance). And the Premier League will assess all deals for 'fair value'.

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June 30 has become something of a secondary transfer deadline in its own right, given the significance of the accounting period cut-off when it comes to PSR (Profitability and Sustainability Regulations) calculations. Everton and Nottingham Forest were both docked points under these rules last season, and there's a sense that teams are taking the threat of sanction seriously.

Chelsea and Aston Villa have completed some major deals. Ian Maatsen went one way for $48m (£37.5m/€44m), while the relatively unknown Omari Kellyman moved to Stamford Bridge for $24m (£19m/€22m). His current Transfermarkt value is listed as $1.1m (£850k/€1m).

The way accounting works in football, Chelsea will bank all of the Maatsen fee as immediate profit on the books, while the sum paid for Kellyman will come out over the course of his contract (up to a maximum of five years, after Premier League clubs voted to close a loophole). The benefits for both parties from a PSR perspective are clear.

Aston Villa's Omari Kellyman and Crystal Palace's Tyrick Mitchell during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa at Selhurst Park on May 19, 2024 in London, England.
Omari Kellyman in one of his 37 total minutes of Premier League action. -Credit:Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

Likewise, Everton and Newcastle are also believed to be close to the wire on PSR. They are in talks over deals for Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Yankubah Minteh — while the Toffees have already sold Lewis Dobbin to Aston Villa for $11m (£9m/€11m), receiving Tim Iroegbunam the other way for fractionally more.

Again, there is no suggestion of wrongdoing from either party. It is simply said that rivals have 'noticed' these deals.

The concept of fair value has been discussed recently in relation to sponsorship agreements. The Premier League has passed a rule requiring all transactions between 'associated parties' to undergo a 'fair market value' check, a measure being challenged in the courts by Manchester City.

Liverpool.com says: Football fans could do with accounting degrees to follow along with some of the drama in the Premier League these days. Recent deals will certainly have raised eyebrows among supporters, but it's up to the league to investigate all transfers and make sure they all represent fair market value. Liverpool will no doubt watch with interest.