Chelsea may violate UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules next season after spending nearly £600 million on players since last summer. If they don’t qualify for next season’s Champions League, they’re more likely to run into regulatory issues. If that happens, they will likely break the rules unless they sell this summer to cut the wage cost and raise £150m to £200m in transfer funds.
Chelsea may violate Financial Fair Play next season
Starting next season, UEFA FFP rules limit a club’s net player purchases, wages, and agent fees to 90% of its income. A £100 million player signing for eight years costs £12.5 million per year because accounting amortizes spending. Chelsea’s outlay is huge, with amortization reaching £200 million or more in the future years. With all the recruits, the wage cost might exceed £400 million next season.
Agent fees, which have lately varied between £25m and £30m, may increase Chelsea’s FFP costs to £600m–£650m. Chelsea earned £481.3m last season despite finishing third in the league, reaching two domestic finals, the Champions League’s last eight, and winning the Club World Cup. Thus, despite finishing first and deep in all tournaments, they failed to exceed £500 million in revenue.
If they don’t qualify for the Champions League next season, their revenue might drop to £400m-£450m. Even if they were at the top of that income bracket, their FFP costs for wages, amortization, and agent fees must not exceed £405m to comply. Without sophisticated accounting or charging high earners, £600m would be a problem. Chelsea now boasts 34 first-team players, compared to the Premier League average of 25–28.
20 loaned players, including Romelu Lukaku, aren’t included. One option is to try to get big money for Lukaku, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Conor Gallagher, Hakim Ziyech, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and a handful of their lesser-known loaned players. Some earn salaries that few clubs would match, making the process extra harder.