Why Chelsea are completing transfer deals and Liverpool are not after exploiting PSR loopholes

-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

As was the case during last year's summer transfer window, Chelsea have been the busiest Premier League club.

The Londoners went on a spending spree in 2023 to complete deals for a whole host of players, including Liverpool targets Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo.

This came on the back of lucrative business at the start of the year, which saw Enzo Fernandez head to Stamford Bridge in a deal worth £107m and be followed by £89m man Mykhailo Mudryk.

Despite splashing out over £1bn during the Todd Boehly reign, a figure far higher than any other Premier League club, many have questioned how Chelsea have managed to comply with the same Profit and Sustainability rules that have crippled others.

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Under Premier League profit and sustainability (PSR) regulations, clubs can lose a maximum of £105m over three seasons before facing sanctions. Chelsea reported a pre-tax loss of £90m, leaving them dangerously close to breaching regulations, but they are continuing to find ways around the Premier League's rules.

Their strategy first involved finding flaws in the guidelines regarding amortisation, which relates to gradually writing off the initial cost of a player's transfer fee. Chelsea found a loophole in this system, which saw them handing out long-term contracts to spread out the cost of signing big-money stars to not damage their balance sheet. For example, Mudryk and Fernandez put pen to paper on eight-and-a-half-year deals, ensuring their significant cost is not accounted for right away. Mudryk's deal is understood to be accounted for at £10m per year, as opposed to one lump sum.

UEFA have since stepped in to stop Chelsea from doing this, with the new limit payments can be spread over standing at five years, though the London club were able to enjoy success with this tactic until being stopped in their tracks.

Another method Chelsea have utilised is 'pure' profit, which sees club receive the full value of a homegrown player when being sold - as opposed to only a cut of the transfer fee, as is the case with those who have not come through an Academy system with their current employers. The £55m sale of Mason Mount to Manchester United served as a major step to easing Chelsea's financial burdens, with fellow Academy graduates Lewis Hall, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ethan Ampadu being moved on.

Active again at the start of the current window, the reason for their rushed activity relates to the need to ensure their books are in order before today's (June 30) PSR deadline. It therefore came as no surprise to see homegrown Ian Maatsen sold to Aston Villa in a £37.5m deal and Ipswich Town strike a £20m agreement for Omari Hutchinson.

Clearly confident this sale will have ensured they have not fallen foul of PSR rules, Chelsea have completed a £19m deal for Omari Kellyman from Aston Villa while also closing on deals for Barcelona youngster Marc Guiu (£5m) and Boca Juniors centre-back Aaron Anselmino (£17m).

Deploying a more unorthodox tactic earlier this tear, Chelsea eased fears of a PSR breach through the £76.5m sale of hotel buildings to Blueco 22 Properties Ltd - a sister company. Had this deal not gone through, it is anticipated Enzo Maresca's would have posted losses of £166.4m

Questions have been raised as to how Chelsea were able to strike this deal without it being blocked by the Premier League. Such transactions between associated parties have been stopped by the EFL, though the English top-flight are yet to close this loophole.

Chelsea have found a way to make their finances work, for now at least, though there is no guarantee their high-risk actions are set to pay off in the long-term.