Chelsea want 'exemptions' from Premier League spending rules after huge January spree – report

Enzo Fernandez of Chelsea looks on during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Fulham on 3 February, 2023 at Stamford Bridge in London, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Chelsea (opens in new tab) reportedly intend to request exemptions from the Premier League's strict spending regulations, following their mega January shopping spree.

The Blues splashed out £323m during the winter transfer window, signing seven players – including Enzo Fernandez for a British-record £106.7m on deadline day.

In a sign of just how financially dominant the Premier League has become – and of how much financial power a single club can wield – Chelsea's outlay was greater than that of the 78 clubs in LaLiga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 combined.

It's fair to say the Blues' enormous expenditure has raised one or two eyebrows – the club recorded a £153.4m loss in their latest published accounts, for the year ending 2021 – but, according to MailOnline (opens in new tab), they will ask for leniency from the Premier League with respect to the competition's rules around losses.

While allowances were made for the impact of the Covid pandemic on Premier League clubs' income, Chelsea could still be in trouble of exceeding the maximum permitted loss of £105m across a three-year period.

New Chelsea signing Mykhailo Mudryk holds the Ukrainian flag as he is unveiled to fans on the pitch during half-time of the Premier League match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace on 15 January, 2023 at Stamford Bridge in London, United Kingdom.

Chelsea beat Arsenal to sign Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk, in a deal worth up to £89m (Image credit: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

But, the report adds, the Blues are set to make the case that they were unable to bring in any money during the final three months of Roman Abramovich's ownership – after the Russian's assets were frozen due to his alleged ties to Vladimir Putin, as the British government sanctioned oligarchs in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

A consortium led by current chairman Todd Boehly completed a takeover at Stamford Bridge in May last year.

Earlier this week, it emerged that UEFA had placed Chelsea – who face Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 of the Champions League later this month – on a financial fair play (FFP) watchlist.

UEFA's spending rules are much tighter than those of the Premier League: European football's governing body only allows clubs to lose £53m over three years.

Chelsea are attempting to spread the cost of some transfer fees by putting players on unusually long contracts – Fernandez and fellow January arrival Mykhailo Mudryk's deals run until 2031 – but it remains to be seen whether exploiting this loophole will pay off.

They certainly won't be able to do make use of it from this summer as UEFA will no longer allow (opens in new tab) clubs to amortise transfer fees beyond a period of five years.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...