Financial Fair Play: How Chelsea Is Avoiding Strict Rules Despite Heavy Spending on Mudryk, Enzo Fernandez

Financial Fair Play: How Chelsea Is Avoiding Strict Rules Despite Heavy Spending on Mudryk, Enzo Fernandez

  • Chelsea's spending on transfers has raised many more questions about fair play regulations
  • The club's new owners have been keen to splash top dollar on their targets since taking over
  • Enzo Fernandez became the latest signing after being signed for a British record fee from Benfica
  • This is expected to be followed by summer signings like Christopher Nkunku and Malo Gusto

Multiple questions have been raised about Chelsea's willingness to spend huge wads of cash on transfer targets.

The Blues have often been blasted for paying excess money for otherwise moderate players. The club recently forked out close to 88-million euros to land Ukrainian sensation, Mykhailo Mudryk.

They then paid 120 million euros to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica - a British record fee.

Todd Boehly, Chelsea, Mykhailo Mudryk, Joao Felix, Financial Fair Play rules, Christopher Nkunku, Enzo Fernandez
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly in the stands during the Carabao Cup third-round match against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Photo by Mike Egerton.
Source: Getty Images

For Mudryk, Chelsea had to outbid Arsenal and offer better wages, with the Shakhtar Donetsk winger believed to have preferred a move to the red side of London.

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For a player who has only shown rare glimpses of talent in a 'second-tier' league, his fee seemed ludicrous. Likewise to Fernandez, who prior to the World Cup, was relatively unknown.

So did their contract of eight and a half years - but we will get to that.

Chelsea's new signings

The Todd Boehly ownership has used close to 600 million euros in signings, since taking over from Roman Abramovich last summer. Most of the signings have been young players, as the club looks to reinvent how it does its business.

Sports Brief had earlier given a concise breakdown of what the new owners intend to achieve with the high influx of young players.

Among the senior player brought in included Joao Felix on a short-term loan. It was a deal that did not make financial sense - even more so after he was suspended for three games.

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Above all, the club is still lining up a move for RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku and probably Brighton's Moises Caicedo in the summer.

How then have Chelsea not been sanctioned by the stringent rules of Financial Fair Play?

Amortisation - length of contracts

Mudryk's deal is believed to have been spread across eight years, with Chelsea paying instalments of slightly over 10 million euros each year through a process known as amortisation, per SkySports.

This helps the club only record an outward investment of 10 million every year, rather than trying to balance the whole amount at once, which would be difficult. This also explains the bizarre length of the contract given to Mudryk.

The major disadvantage with these lengths of contracts is that when a player fails to match the expected standards, the club struggles to offload him.

Before his rebirth under Graham Potter, Kepa Arrizabalaga had struggled and both parties were looking for a way out. But the Spanish goalkeeper had been given a seven-year contract with a weekly wage of 190,000 euros, and no club was willing to match that salary for a 'flop.'

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Enzo Fernandez's release clause

This is also the reason why the club had initially pulled out of the deal to sign 2022 World Cup sensation, Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.

Benfica wanted Chelsea to pay Fernandez's release clause of 120 million euros. For release clauses, clubs must pay the amount upfront and this cannot be spread across different seasons like the transfer fee.

However, the Portugues club budged and agreed to the same amount with Chelsea paying an initial fee of 40 million euros. The rest of the money is expected to be spread in different financial years.

Chelsea's advantage in sales

Another thing to Chelsea's advantage is the sale of players in recent years, like Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori. Football London reports that the club's sales in the last decade made 658 million euros in profit.

Given that in simple terms, FFP is money in compared to money out, Chelsea have a lot of wriggling room, given that they are astute in their sales as they are in their purchases.

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The Football London report gives a further example of Manchester United, who could only take Wout Weghorst on loan due to the regulations.

The Red Devils' sales only stand at 130-million euros, and thus balancing their books becomes much more difficult compared to the Blues.

The current model, though risky, seems sustainable for Chelsea. And with more players like Jorginho(who has already joined Arsenal), Hakim Ziyech and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang expected to depart, Boehly can continue to splash money on other targets without fearing the FFP entrapment.