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Report: UEFA to close FFP loophole in wake of Chelsea's long-term deals

Chelsea FC / Getty

UEFA is planning on closing the loophole that's allowed Chelsea to circumvent financial fair play (FFP) rules numerous times since last summer.

The European governing body will impose a five-year limit for the maximum length of time a transfer fee can be spread over after a number of concerned teams contacted UEFA about Chelsea's transfer policy in January, reports Martyn Ziegler of The Times.

That means that deals such as the amortized eight-and-a-half-year contract that Ukrainian winger Mykhailo Mudryk signed when he joined Chelsea last week will be prohibited in the future.

Using amortization - the act of writing off the initial cost of a player - to complete the lucrative transfer allowed the Premier League team to record Mudryk's £80-million transfer fee as £9.41 million per year for UEFA's FFP calculation. Had the Blues signed Mudryk to a four-year deal, his fee would've been recorded as £20 million per year.

"If other clubs start doing the same with eight-year contracts, it will be a mess, so we need to protect them," a source told Ziegler about UEFA's thought process for closing the FFP loophole.

"It is simply shifting a problem to the future. Either a club can get stuck with a player on a high salary that they cannot sell, or if they sell him after three or four years, they will not realize much profit (in accounting terms) because a lot of his transfer fee has not been amortized."

Chelsea have used amortization in a number of other deals since the club began its over £400-million spending spree last summer. Players such as Wesley Fofana, David Datro Fofana, and Benoit Badiashile have signed contracts in excess of six years.

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