Chelsea 'clearly cheating' says La Liga president

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 18 Mar 2023 10:38 GMT
  • 3 min read
Todd Boehly, Chelsea, 2022/23

Chelsea have spent more than £600 million over the last two transfer windows, tying the likes of Mykhailo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez down to eight-year contracts.

Chelsea have spent more money on player transfers than any other club in world football since American billionaire Todd Boehly succeeded Roman Abramovich as owner last May.

Marc Cucurella became the most expensive left-back of all time last summer, while Fernandez's €120m (£106.2m) arrival from Benfica in January is a British record, but Chelsea have stayed within the bounds of Financial Fair Play.

READ: When does the contract of every Chelsea player expire?

Unfairly, according to La Liga president Javier Tebas.

"Chelsea are clearly cheating by signing players on eight or nine-year contracts," he stormed at a press conference.

Chelsea's workaround

The Blues' tactic has been clever if not cynical. Take Mudryk's transfer, for which Chelsea paid Shakhtar Donetsk €70m up front with €30m to follow in add-ons.

With Mudryk signing an eight-year contract, his €70m initial fee isn't accounted for within one financial year, but eight, so the spend on the Ukrainian this in 2023 will count as just €8.75m.

READ: Barcelona could be relegated confirms La Liga president Javier Tebas

Tebas outburst comes as he is trying to sort out a financial mess in his own back yard.

Barcelona were €1.35 billion in debt when they lost talisman Lionel Messi on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2021, and although they have activated 'financial levers' - the sale of a percentage of future revenues - they remain in trouble.

Tebas has told Barca that they need to reduce their debt by €200m in order to take part in La Liga next season, while the club could face significant fines and relegation if they are found guilty of match fixing, with investigations to that effect underway with Spanish courts.

Barca are still making plans for the summer transfer market, but free transfer arrivals like Marco Asensio and Ilkay Gundogan are more likely at this point.