Chelsea's spending spree could breach FFP as soon as next season

Chelsea’s £600million spending spree could see them fall foul of Financial Fair Play regulations as soon as next season… with the likelihood of Graham Potter’s side facing sanctions only increasing if they fail to qualify for the Champions League

  • Chelsea could fall foul of Financial Fair Play regulations as soon as next season
  • The club have spent nearly £600m bringing in new players since last summer
  • Chances of sanctions increase if Blues fail to qualify for the Champions League

Chelsea’s near-£600million splurge on players since last summer could see them fall foul of UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules as soon as next season.

And the likelihood of them getting themselves into regulatory strife will increase even more if they miss out of qualification for next season’s Champions League, as they are currently on course to do.

If that happens, it is almost impossible to see them not falling foul of the rules unless they offload this summer to shrink the spiralling wage bill and raise £150m to £200m in transfer income.

The new UEFA FFP rules dictate that, from next season, the amount a club spends on net player acquisitions (spending minus income), plus wages, plus agents fees, must not exceed 90 per cent of any club’s income.

Spending in accounting terms is amortised over the length of a player’s contract, so a £100m player signing for eight years only counts as £12.5m a year in outlay for him. But even with Chelsea’s creative accounting in this way, their spending is massive, with amortisation in the coming years hitting about £200m-plus a year.

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly could fall foul of UEFA’s new FFP rules as soon as next season 

Graham Potter’s side are struggling and could miss out on European football as well next year

The wage bill was £357m last season and with all the newcomers could reach £400m-plus next term. Add agents fees which in recent years have cost £25m-£30m and Chelsea’s key costs in FFP terms could reach between £600m and £650m. 

Last season’s financial figures show Chelsea’s income, in a campaign where they finished in the top three in the league, reached two domestic finals, reached the last eight of the Champions League and won the Club World Cup, was £481.3m.

In other words, a successful season, finishing high in the table and going deep in all competitions, still failed to get them to £500m in revenue. 

If they missed out on the Champions League for next season, it is feasible their total revenues would tumble somewhere towards the £400m-£450m bracket.

Even assuming the higher end of that income scale, their FFP costs on wages, amortisation and agents fees would need to be no bigger than £405m to stay within the rules. So £600m would spell trouble without creative accounting or getting high-earners off the books, quickly, for significant fees.

Chelsea’s squad is now hugely bloated, with 34 first-team players on their books, against a typical Premier League average of 25 to 28. And that does not even include 20 players out on loan, including stars such as Romelu Lukaku.

One solution might involve trying to get substantial fees for the likes of Lukaku, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Conor Gallagher, Hakim Ziyech and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and a few of their lesser known development players currently on loan elsewhere. But some of those have wages that few clubs would want to match, making the task even harder.

Chelsea spent £107m to make Enzo Fernandez the Premier League’s biggest ever purchase 

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