Chelsea not ‘off the radar’ for FFP breaches, says financial expert

Chelsea are not "off the radar" for financial fair play (FFP) breaches despite their amortisation techniques, according to finance expert Dan Plumley.

Since Chelsea were taken over by American businessman Todd Boehly in May 2022, the Blues have spent over £1billion in transfer fees, raising serious questions over whether the club is at risk of breaking the Premier League's financial regulations.

Much of the money has been spent on acquiring young talent on lengthy contracts, and though results have been well below par since Boehly's arrival, it seems the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino prior to this season is starting to pay dividends, with Chelsea finally on an upwards trajectory with an eye on European qualification.

Plumley has explained that while the lengthy contracts given out by Chelsea are helping them in regards to FFP, they may still have work to do if they are to adhere to UEFA's laws and therefore be allowed to play in their competitions, having been fined £8.6m by UEFA prior to this season.

"The thing that Chelsea did to protect themselves from that particular issue with profit and sustainability is the long contracts that were delivered to those players," Plumley told Stats Perform.

"Yes, there were some high fees, but there were also long contracts. You have to divide the transfer fee by the contract length in terms of number of years, and that's the charge per year for FFP.

"They were mindful of the regulations moving forward. And they've managed to sell a few players in accounting terms for pure profit that have come through the youth system.

"But that doesn't mean they're fully off the radar. I get the sense that they should be looking at having their house in order in that regard.

"We've got UEFA's regulations that if they want to get back into the Champions League, they have to conform to as well. They will need to be mindful that both the Premier League and UEFA have regulations moving forward."

Chelsea are one of a number of clubs reportedly toeing the line in relation to financial regulations, though it is potential indiscretions from the past that may cause them issues in the near future, with the stewardship of previous owner Roman Abramovich under investigation.

Plumley explained those potential wrongdoings, saying: "There's obviously the separate case with Chelsea at the minute around the past ownership and some of the things that have been looked into there in terms of potentially where some of those payments went.

"There's some allegations here that some of the payments have gone to other organisations and in some cases other football clubs from the previous owner of Chelsea when they were under the control of Roman Abramovich.

"That's a separate case in that regard, in terms of something a little bit different because payments from one club and Chelsea's link to the ownership structure from a time gone by to other clubs and other connected parties."