How have Chelsea caused UEFA to change FFP regulations?
Premier League side Chelsea have spent almost $180 million on new players in January, which has promoted UEFA to have an FFP rethink.
It’s not been the best of seasons for Chelsea so far, let’s be honest. They had high hopes of challenging for the Premier League title but sacked manager Thomas Tuchel just a few games into the season. Graham Potter then came in from Brighton and got off to a fine start but the Blues’ form quickly fell off a cliff as they won just twice in 10 games either side of the World Cup break.
Four points from the last two Premier League matches has steadied the ship ever so slightly but they find themselves well down the league table in 10th spot and face an uphill battle if they are to force their way into the top four, a minimum expectation at the start of the season.
Owner Todd Boehly certainly hasn’t given up though and has splashed the cash in the January transfer window, signing six players for a reported total of $180 million, according to Transfermarkt. That’s around $400 million in the last two transfer windows.
Only now, the Londoners appear to have run into not one, but two issues.
Why have UEFA changed FFP because of Chelsea?
First of all, Chelsea’s flurry of activity in the last two transfer windows has seen them take advantage of a Financial Fair Play loophole which has provoked UEFA to change their regulations, according to The Times.
Boehly and Chelsea have spent lavish amounts of money and dished out lengthy contracts to Mykhaylo Mudryk (€70 million, eight-and-a-half years), Benoit Badishile (€38 million, seven-and-a-half years), Wesley Fofana (€80.4 million, seven years) and David Datro Fofana (€12 million, six-and-a-half years), with lower amortisation (the player’s fee divided by the number of years on their deal) meaning they have been able to get around how FFP views their spending.
UEFA, however, have decided – helped by a number of clubs who have “raised concerns” – that enough is enough and will set a five-year maximum on contracts when it comes to amortisation, starting in the summer. They have even spun it to Chelsea that it will help them avoid financial issues in future (which should be true).
How many new players can clubs register for the Champions League knockout stages?
The second issue concerns one competition that the Blues are still in with a chance of winning, which is the Champions League. Potter’s initial purple patch took in four group-stage matches, which means the Premier League side comfortably progressed to the round of 16, where they will take on Borussia Dortmund.
How many of their new signings will be able to play though? Chelsea are only able to register a maximum of three new players for the knockout rounds, which will surely be Mudryk, Badiashile and on-loan João Félix. Noni Madueke, signed from PSV for €35 million this month, will likely have to watch on from the stands.
Each club can have a maximum of 25 players registered, 17 of which can be ‘non-homegrown’. The Blues currently have 24 registered, 15 of which are ‘non-homegrown’. To add three new players, they’ll have to remove two players who were registered for the group stages and make sure they keep a minimum of eight ‘homegrown’ players on the roster.
Got it? Good. Let’s hope, for their sake, they don’t make any more signings. Still over a week to go…