Premier League aligns with UEFA rules and cuts transfer fee amortisation to five years

December 13 – Premier League clubs have voted to limit to five years the period over which a player’s transfer fee can be spread in their accounts, hitting teams like Chelsea who have controversially been signing a number of players on staggering long deals, amortising the cost of the transfer over the whole period.

The move brings English top-flight clubs in line with UEFA regulations which were altered in the summer.

“Going forward, a five-year maximum will apply to all new or extended player contracts,” the League said.

Clubs also approved a rule change to allow the league’s board to block clubs from registering new players if they owe a transfer debt to another Premier League or English Football League (EFL) club until the debt is paid.

Amortisation – the practice of gradually writing off the initial cost of a player during their contract – has been used to engineer getting round Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules which currently permit a maximum loss of £105m over a three-year period.

This will no longer be permitted, preventing clubs from continuing to exploit the accounting loophole in the future.

Chelsea actually voted in favour of the change, one of 15 clubs to do so even though they have arguably benefitted the most.

Moises Caicedo, Mykhailo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez agreed contracts of at least eight years when they joined Chelsea in big-money moves, while the likes of Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia penned seven-year agreements when they arrived in the summer.

Contracts can still be any length but it is the period over which a transfer fee can be spread in accounts which is now limited to five years.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino said following Chelsea’s defeat to Everton on Sunday that he would look to go into the transfer window in January despite the club’s record £400m spending last summer. Altogether Chelsea have spent an eye-watering £1 billion under co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali.

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