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Transfer bei Chelsea: Warum Mudryks Vertrag achteinhalb Jahre läuft

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Status: 01/17/2023 8:53 p.m

Michailo Mudryk got an unusually long contract at Chelsea. One reason for this is the rules of financial fair play – such a contract term is hardly conceivable in the Bundesliga.

Chelsea are said to transfer up to 100 million euros to Shakhtar Donetsk for Mikhailo Mudryk. In addition to this sum, another detail is noteworthy: the contract period. Mudryk has now been tied with Chelsea for eight and a half years, until the end of the 2030/31 season – which raises several questions.

Why are Chelsea giving away such a long contract?

With UEFA’s new rules on “financial sustainability” (formerly known as financial fair play), expenditure is limited, and there must be corresponding income. After a transitional period from the 2025/26 season, a club’s squad costs should only be 70 percent of the income in a season. The 100 million euros would pull this balance down quite a bit.

This is exactly what Chelsea wants to prevent with the long contract period. The club can write off the costs of the transfer over the term of the contract. The 100 million euros will therefore be spread over eight and a half years. The transfer only makes itself felt with around twelve million per season, which gives Chelsea room for maneuver in the further formation of the squad.

Are such long contracts allowed?

Not really. FIFA stipulates in its regulations that a contract may run for a maximum of five years. However, it makes an exception to this rule: where national law allows, longer contracts may also be concluded. It’s possible in the UK, so Premier League rules say: “A contract between a club and a player can be for any length of time.”

Chelsea made use of this opportunity several times during the winter transfer window: Benoit Badiashile came from AS Monaco and was given a contract for seven and a half years, his transfer fee is said to have been €40m. Molde FK’s David Fofana has been signed for six and a half years. Chelsea also signed several new players for six or seven years in the summer.

Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge Stadium

What happens if the player leaves before the end of the contract?

In this case, a “residual book value” arises. The expenses then no longer have to be recognized in the remaining original contract period. If there is any income from the transfer, this must be offset against the residual book value, resulting in a profit or a loss.

So is it also possible to retain talented youngsters in the long term?

No, for players under the age of 18 there is a general limit of three years for the possible contract period. This has been a source of conflict for a long time. Medium-sized clubs fear that the financially strong big clubs like Chelsea, Paris or Manchester City will be able to buy great talents from them for a small price or even free of charge. They have therefore often asked for longer maturities.

However, it is not only consultants who earn money from new contracts and changes that are against longer terms for contracts with minors. A long-term contract can also be disadvantageous for young players themselves, if the value suddenly increases at the age of 18 or 19 and a previously concluded contract is significantly lower.

Are such contracts possible in the Bundesliga?

Basically yes, but in practice this is almost never the case. In accordance with the FIFA regulations, the license regulations for players of the German Football League (DFL) state: “The maximum term of a contract should not exceed five years.” The word “should” leaves a back door open, which Bayer Leverkusen recently used. The Belgian youth player Noah Mbamba received a contract for five and a half years until 2028.

The fact that clubs in Germany almost never go beyond this is due to the German law on part-time and fixed-term contracts. This states that an employment relationship of more than five years can only be terminated by the employee after five years with a notice period of six months. The risk of serious injuries or a major decline in form would be with the club alone with a contract for eight and a half years – which makes such contracts unattractive in German football.

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