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Chelsea’s long-contract spree curtailed as new Premier League rule limits transfer fee amortisation

Chelsea's long-contract spree curtailed as new Premier League rule limits transfer fee amortisation

Chelsea’s penchant for offering players long contracts has hit a roadblock with the Premier League incorporating a new transfer rule.

As per The Athletic, Premier League clubs have passed a vote limiting the period over which a transfer fee can be spread in club accounts to five years, regardless of the contract length. 

While the bill is not retroactive, it closes a loophole that Chelsea have exploited since the Todd Boehly-led era kicked off, bringing the Premier League and UEFA on the same page.

Mykhailo Mudryk joined Chelsea in January, with the Blues forking out an initial £62 million to seal the deal with Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk.

They then convinced the 22-year-old to pen a mind-boggling eight-and-a-half-year deal, which set a new record for the longest contract in Premier League history.

Chelsea continued to exploit the loophole, snapping up Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in a £106m deal, committing the World Cup winner to a long-term contract until 2031.

The long-term contracts allowed Chelsea to spread the financial impact over an extended period. 

While it seemingly proved to be clever accounting on the path of the Blues, who have lavished a ridiculous amount of money over the past 18 months, repeated exploitation raised concerns about financial sustainability and competitive balance within the league.

The Premier League’s new rule effectively closes the loophole. Regardless of how long a player signs for, Chelsea can only spread the transfer fee over five years in their accounts. 

This effectively limits the immediate financial burden of high-profile signings, making it harder for the free-spending West Londoners to splurge on talent without considering the long-term financial implications.

In another move to safeguard financial stability, clubs voted to empower the Premier League board to take action against teams delinquent on transfer debts.

That means if a club owes money for a player to another Premier League or EFL side, the board can prevent them from registering new players until the outstanding sum is settled.

This firm stance aims to deter clubs from accumulating unpaid transfer fees and foster a culture of responsible financial management within the league.

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