The Chelsea case shows that UEFA’s financial fair play is officially a farce: it affects the little ones, it doesn’t affect the big ones

The Financial Fair Play (FFP) della Uefa is now comparable to a car race where a maximum speed limit of 180 km / h is imposed, to ensure participation by everyone (or almost), and then it is allowed to Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin to run at 300 per hour while simultaneously stopping the Volkswagen for an off taillight. A deserving control tool reduced in joke, as the last, paradoxical case of Chelsea champion of Europe: 250 million euros overall losses in three years, but in profit of 1 million euro according to the parameters of the FFP. For some time, Chelsea has not been the one in the first phase Abramovich, when the Russian ushered in the era of the oligarchs in the world of football by spending seamlessly. The last ten budgets of the Blues are evenly split between surplus and deficit exercises. Just two years ago Chelsea closed with a positive balance of 38 million euros, before registering, in the year that brought the Champions League back to Stamford Bridge, a loss of 174 million. A figure that placed the company in fifth place in the ranking of annual record losses behind Barcelona, Inter, Juventus and Rome. Although the Premier League is the richest league in the world, in England these cheap bloodbaths are rare, just think that only the Manchester City in the first year of management of Sheikh Mansour he totaled a red higher than that of Chelsea.

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The pandemic, in the case of the Blues, it has little or nothing to do with it. If in 2019 the revenue was 532 million, in 2020 it dropped to 484 and then climbed back to 518 in the year just ended. Revenues have therefore remained stable, and what was lost due to the closure of Stamford Bridge the club has recovered thanks to the contractual clause with sponsors, the Nike first of all, which included bonuses in the event of a Champions League victory. It was the explosion of the salary to generate the heavy deficit. The company, which has not reduced no salary even in the critical phase of the health emergency, it has come to pay almost 400 million euros in wages (396 to be exact), against 337 in the 19/20 season, reaching second place as a total of salaries for the Premier behind Manchester City, despite being only fourth in the revenue rankings, behind Manchester United, City and Liverpool. A clear will to push on the accelerator, also visible from an aggressive entry market (Havertz, Werner, Chilwell, Mendy, Ziyech – while obviously Lukaku will be counted in the next financial year) without, however, tempering the costs of depreciation of the squad (which rose to 193 million) with equally lucrative sales, as instead happened in previous years (Hazard, Diego Costa, Oscar, David Luiz, Eyes, Courteous).

Chelsea could not have acted like this if Uefa had not reviewed them in the meantime rules of FFP or, at least, he would have paid for it consequences, ie starting a negotiated procedure which would have ended with an economic sanction or a blocking of transfers. Already weakened by economic creativity in terms of sponsorship of teams such as Paris Saint Germain and Manchester City, the FFP was further watered down by UEFA’s decision to consider the latter quattro exercises instead of the last three, to calculate the limit allowed by the regulation of 30 million losses in the three-year period, with the financial statements 2019/20 and 2020/21 considered as a single year from which a media. Chelsea’s situation therefore went from 251 to 141 million in losses (the 17/18 budget was in surplus of 80 million). About 100 million must be subtracted from this figure for deductions always provided for by the FFP for investment expenses in the youth sector, in the section of women’s soccer and in projects of social utility. A scant 40 million remain, which are pulled down by a new one deduction allowed by Uefa on a percentage of lost revenue due to Covid-19. A figure of just over 40 million that allows Chelsea to present themselves in front of the Uefa without even one euro of debt, indeed, with a small useful. Despite a quarter of a billion in real losses. Meanwhile, UEFA has sanctioned Astana, Cluj, Porto, Betis Sevilla, Sporting Lisbon, CSKA Sofia, Cluj and the Gibraltar team of the Mons Calpe for late payment of the card purchased players. Because the rules, rightly, are rules and apply to everyone. With the increasingly obvious exception of those above a certain threshold of wealth.

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