Chelsea transfer loophole closed as Premier League rivals gang up on Todd Boehly


Premier League clubs have reportedly voted to limit the number of years over which transfers can be amortised to five, in a major blow to Chelsea chief Todd Boehly. The Blues co-owner has been using long-term deals as a key element of his strategy to spread the cost of transfers and stay on the right side of Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions.

This summer, Chelsea set the record for the most money spent by a single club in one window, breaking the record they set in January, which in turn broke the benchmark they initially laid down in 2022.

Splashing the cash on big-name prospects and staying within FFP limits has largely been made possible by the use of long-term contracts. Eight-year deals have become commonplace at Stamford Bridge, with a staggering 14 players in Mauricio Pochettino's squad tied down until at least 2030.

Such an approach allowed Chelsea to amortise - or spread - transfer costs over the entire length of the contract. For example, an £80million player signing an eight-year agreement could be accounted for at £10m per year.

However, things are about to change. Premier League clubs held a shareholders' meeting on Tuesday, and The Athletic claim that a vote was passed to limit the timespan over which transfers can be amortised.

The cost can now be spread over a maximum of five years, irrespective of contract length, with at least 14 sides in the English top flight voting to close the loophole. Thankfully for the Blues, the rule change will not be backdated, meaning the £434.5m worth of signings they made in the summer will be financially unaffected.

It comes at an inconvenient time, too, with Pochettino open and honest about his desire for new players after Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Everton.

A succession of managers have been unable to create harmony in Chelsea's youthful, inexperienced, new-look squad and they remain stranded in the bottom half of the Premier League with five wins from 16 games.

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