Chelsea transfer spending leads to UEFA rule change

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • Updated: 24 Jan 2023 17:23 GMT
  • 3 min read
New Chelsea signing Mykhailo Mudryk

UEFA have changed their Financial Fair Play regulations in response to the long-term contracts Chelsea have handed out to Mykhailo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile and others.

Chelsea have spent exorbitant sums on transfer fees since Todd Boehly replaced Roman Abramovich as owner last May, leading some to speculate that they might be falling foul of UEFA FFP laws.

The summer window saw the Blues spend more than €280 million on eight players, which included making Brighton's Marc Cucurella the most expensive left-back of all time.

READ: Mudryk compared to club legend Hazard after exciting Chelsea debut

They have followed that up in the winter window with a further €180m outlay, an initial €70m of which was paid to Shakhtar Donetsk for Mudryk, whom they signed from under Arsenal's nose.

The Mudryk deal includes a further €30m in add-ons, but his eight-and-a-half year contract means they can record that cost at less than €11.8m per year. UEFA have now responded.

UEFA's five-year limit

"UEFA is to set a five-year limit over which a transfer fee can be spread," report the BBC. "Clubs will still be able to offer longer deals under UK regulations but will not be able to stretch transfer fees beyond the first five years.

"The change to FFP rules will come into force during the summer and will not apply retrospectively."

READ: What will Chelsea do next in January?

Chelsea remain within the letter of the law, then, but a similar outlay next summer would now appear to be unlikely.

As well as Mudyrk, Chelsea have spent €38m on Benoit Badiashile, €35m on Noni Madueke, €12.5m on Andrey Santos and another €12m David Datro Fofana, as well as agreeing to pay Atletico Madrid an €11m loan fee for Joao Felix.

The BBC go on to say that UEFA is acting now so that other clubs are not at risk.

"By amortising players over a longer period of time, clubs are limiting their scope for spending in the future because the value of those players is reducing more slowly than normally would be the case," they write.

"The feeling is Chelsea is such a high-profile example, if others were to follow, they could put themselves in trouble."