Premier League votes to close Chelsea transfer loophole but Blues avoid worst-case scenario
Posted by  badge Boss on Dec 13, 2023 - 05:47AM
Chelsea will have to change how they sign players going forward (Picture: Getty)

clubs have voted to reduce the period over which transfer fees can be amortised in a move that will be a massive hindrance to ’s transfer strategy.

The west London club’s owners, and Clearlake Capital, have courted criticism for making a number of huge signings but spreading the cost out over the length of enormous contracts.

, for example, was signed in a then Premier League record £106million deal from Benfica last January, but the cost was amortised over the duration of his eight-and-a-half-year contract.

That meant, despite the massive outlay, Chelsea only had to record a transfer fee of around £12.5m for each year of Fernandez’s deal, allowing them to continue spending and skirt around financial fair play rules.

UEFA already moved to tighten up the rules around amortisation in the summer, setting a five-year limit on the period over which a transfer can be spread out.

Premier League clubs met on Tuesday to discuss bringing in a similar measure and the motion was passed, with more than 14 clubs voting in favour of closing the loophole.

A statement from the Premier League on Tuesday afternoon read: ‘Premier League Shareholders today agreed to amend the rule on amortisation of player registration costs to bring in line with UEFA’s regulations.

Chelsea may have to curtail their extravagant spending (Picture: Getty)

‘Going forward, a five-year maximum will apply to all new or extended player contracts.

‘Clubs also approved a rule amendment to enable the Premier League Board, in circumstances where a club owes a transfer debt to another Premier League or EFL Club, to stop the club registering more players until the outstanding payment has been made.

‘The board can also have the option to deduct the amount from the club’s entitlement to the League’s central funds.’

There had been some suggestions that the rule change might be vetoed given how many clubs , but a two-thirds majority backed the change.

Despite the loophole being closed, there will be some measure of relief at Chelsea with the new policy not being backdated to last summer.

The Blues had a mammoth summer spending spree, breaking the Premier League transfer record again to sign Moises Caicedo, with all their deals amortised over lengthy contracts.

Had the rule change been backdated to cover the summer – as was proposed by some clubs – it would have seen Chelsea fall foul of financial fair play rules, but there was so little support for the move that it was not even put to a vote.

Chelsea, and other clubs, can still hand out contracts in excess of five years, though the amortisation period for the transfer fees involved will be capped at the five-year mark.

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