CHELSEA’S January transfer policy is set to see a change in Uefa rules – to stop clubs manipulating Financial Fair Play regulations.
The Stamford Bridge club’s eye-popping £400million spending spree has included handing out contracts of six years-plus to defenders Wesley Fofana and Benoit Badiashile, striker David Datro Fofana and Ukrainian winger Mykhailo Mudryk.
Mykhailo Mudryk is the latest big-money arrival, joining for an eye-watering £88million from Ukraine[/caption]
Those long-term deals spread the £196m total transfer payments for the four players over the contracts – a process known as amortisation – and meaning an FFP figure for the deals of under £26m per season.
But rival clubs have complained at the loop-hole being exploited.
And now Uefa chiefs are ready to bring in new regulations which will see all future fees calculated over a maximum of five years.
Fifa, which has oversight over all international deals, states that contracts should last for a “maximum” of five years unless a longer deal is “consistent with national laws”.
It does mean that players signed on the longer deals are a “cost” for clubs throughout the contract, meaning they cannot be booked at a full sales price – the normal accounting practice – if they are sold after five seasons.
Uefa, though, is prepared to step in with a new rule from this summer which will cap amortisation over the five year period that applies in most countries.
While there is no threat to the status or calculations over the deals Chelsea have undertaken this season, a similar spending spree in future campaigns would see the expenditure on the four deals calculated at just under £40m per season.
That would be in parallel with the new Uefa “cost control” requirements that will see spending pegged to revenues from this year.
In the initial season, clubs will be permitted to spend 90 per cent of income on net transfers and wages, dropping to a new maximum of 70 per cent over three years.
One prominent Uefa source said: “If other clubs start doing the same with eight-year contracts it will be a mess so we need to protect them.
“This is simply shifting a problem to the future.
“Either a club can get stuck with a player on a high salary that they cannot sell, or if they sell him after three or four years they will not realise much profit because a lot of his transfer fee has not been amortised.”