Revealed: Chelsea hit by crushing £52m blow as FFP crisis deepens

Chelsea will miss out on at least £52million if – as is now almost certain – they fail to qualify for any European competition this season, Football Insider analysis shows.

The West Londoners are 11th in the Premier League table, 11th points behind Aston Villa in 6th.

Their only route to the Champions League in 2023-24 was through winning the competition this term, as unlikely as that was given their abysmal form.

But a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday (18 April) consigned them to a 4-0 aggregate loss and an exit at the quarter-final stage.

The absence of Uefa income next season leaves the club in a precarious financial fair play position following combined losses of £335.5m over the last four recorded financial years.

Each club participating in the Champions League group stage receives a £13.7m starting fee, plus a sum based on their 10-year coefficient and a share of the market pool.

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Chelsea are likely to retain their 5th-place spot in Uefa’s 10-year coefficient rankings, meaning they would have banked around £28m from that pot.

The market pool meanwhile would be worth another circa £10m, taking the minimum amount Chelsea have missed out on to £52m.

That would be topped up by performance-related bonuses, with each group stage win worth £2.8m and another £48m on offer in prize money on route to the final.

Their absence from Uefa competitions means they will not be subject to the governing body’s new FFP rules next year, which allow clubs to lose £53m over a rolling three-year period.

A new revenue-based system also dictates that clubs can spend no more than 70 per cent of annual turnover on wages, transfer and agent fees, although that component is being phased in gradually until 2025-26.

As has been reported elsewhere, the Blues will apply for an exemption from Premier League financial rules because of the three months of revenue they lost while former owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned in March last year.

Premier League rules currently limit clubs to losing £105m over a rolling three-year period.

Both Uefa and the Premier League have made exceptions for losses suffered during the pandemic, while money spent on infrastructure and a range of other costs also does not count towards the FFP quota.

Chelsea’s losses are almost certain to continue this season and next thanks to the lavish and, many analysts argue, reckless level of spending sanctioned by Todd Boehly.

The American billionaire has forked out nearly £600m on new signings since his arrival at the Bridge in May last year.

Ultra-long-term contracts have been used to try and circumvent FFP as transfer fees are split up over the length of a player’s deal for accounting purposes.

But a fire sale is still likely this summer as they look to raise funds to avoid punishment for their financial excess.

Sources told this site earlier this year that Mason Mount, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hakim Ziyech, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Conor Gallagher are among the stars up for sale.

In other news, pundit backs Chelsea to accept “£100m” Reece James offer amid “massive” claim.