Premier League clubs agree new five-year limit on spreading transfer fees in accounts

12 December 2023 0 By Total Football News
Enzo Fernandez playing for ChelseaEnzo Fernandez signed an eight-and-a-half-year deal when joining Chelsea for a British record £107m in February

Premier League clubs have voted to limit the period over which a player's transfer fee can be spread in their accounts to five years.

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

It also prevents a practice noticeably used by Chelsea to strengthen their squad during recent transfer windows.

The Blues gave lengthy contracts to new signings in an attempt to comply with financial rules.

The Premier League said: "Going forward, a five-year maximum will apply to all new or extended player contracts."

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

What the transfer rule change means

Some Premier League clubs have previously taken advantage of amortisation - the accounting practice of gradually writing off the initial cost of a player during their contract - to give them room for manoeuvre around Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules which currently permit a maximum loss of £105m over a three-year period.

Chelsea were one of 15 clubs to vote in favour of amending the amortisation rule, even though they have arguably benefitted the most.

The six-time English champions have signed a number of players on very long deals since the summer of 2022.

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 at Stamford Bridge in the summer.

It is understood Chelsea will continue with that model despite the change in regulation.

If transfer fees are spread evenly over the course of a contract, it means the annual payments recorded on the club's accounts are smaller over longer periods.

A £100m fee would be amortised at £20m a year with a five-year contract, but amount to £12.5m a year if a deal was eight years.